President of France François Hollande has announced he will not seek re-election in the upcoming French elections, surprising many. “I’ve decided not to be a candidate to renew my mandate,” Hollande stated. “In the months to come, my only duty will be to continue to lead my country.”
Hollande has become the first president to not run for re-election in French history. Mr. Hollande has been plagued with incredibly low unemployment ratings and a high unemployment rate, both of which have contributed to his decision to step down. Conservative Republicans party member Francois Fillon is believed to be the favorite in the next election.
With Hollande stepping down, there is now an opening for the Socialist party candidate. Prime Minister Manuel Valls is seen as the most likely to fill this opening.