French left-wing presidential primary: Hamon vs. Valls

AP News
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Posted: Jan 29, 2017 2:26 AM
French left-wing presidential primary: Hamon vs. Valls

PARIS (AP) — A look at the two candidates competing in Sunday's runoff of France's left-wing presidential primary:

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BENOIT HAMON, 49

Resume: Former education minister, former Socialist Party spokesman who rebelled against President Francois Hollande's shift toward more business-friendly 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 forced through parliament by his rival, Manuel Valls; recognition of a Palestinian state.

Style: Serious, sober.

Weakness: Inexperience at highest levels.

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MANUEL VALLS, 54

Resume: Spanish immigrant naturalized in France at 20; French interior minister from 2012-2014; prime minister from March 2014 to 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 the unpopular Hollande, who decided not to seek a second term.