Who's likely to lead France's left in the presidential race

AP News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2017 3:41 PM
Who's likely to lead France's left in the presidential race

PARIS (AP) — A quick look at the two candidates advancing to the Jan. 29 runoff of France's Socialist Party presidential primary, and how it works:

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BENOIT HAMON, 49

Resume: Former French junior minister, briefly education minister, former Socialist Party spokesman rebelled, with Montebourg, against Hollande's policies in 2014.

Pledges: To give 750 euros ($800) "universal income" gradually to all French adults; to tax robots; to legalize cannabis; to repeal labor measures passed by Valls; recognition of a Palestinian state.

Style: Serious, sober.

Weakness: Inexperience at highest levels.

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MANUEL VALLS, 54

Resume: French interior minister from 2012-2014; French prime minister 2014-December 2016. Handled the aftermath of terror attacks in Paris in 2015, won parliamentary approval for emergency powers and counterterrorism measures.

Pledges: Lower taxes for middle-class households; minimum income of 850 euros ($906) for adults with no other revenue; civic service for young people; boost police and defense.

Style: Bossy, experienced.

Weakness: Close association with unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande, who has decided not to seek a second term.

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VOTING METHOD:

Between 1.5 million and 2 million voters cast ballots at more than 7,500 polling stations Sunday in the first round of the presidential primary. It is open to all voters who pay 1 euro ($1.04) and sign a document saying they share the left's values. The other five candidates in the primary were eliminated in the first round, while Hamon and Valls advance to the runoff Jan. 29.