> The bombshell announcement of France's embattled president to not seek a second term is a relief to many in his own socialist party, but it's still gonna be an uphill battle for the French left even after Francois Hollande's removal from the race. Reuters Paris Bureau editors Yves Carice.
>> It was a big surprise because until last week, everybody thought that he would decide to run again because he gave signs that what he did was during the five year term was rather good that unemployment was finally going down and that he was ready to run again.
>> Yet Hollande's poll numbers were bumping along at historic lows and his most likely successor, Prime Minster Manuel Valls isn't faring much better.>> A recent poll put Valls at only 9%, should he win his party nomination. Losing easily to conservative Francois Fillon, who's forecast to win a runoff against far right nationalist, Marine Le Pen.
But how did we get here? Hollande's presidency has been one rife with turmoil and scandal with some members of the party in open revolt over what they see as backtracking on key pledges to target big business and raise taxes on the wealthy. A very public split from his partner, spending $11,000 a month on his hair, economic woes and multiple high profile militant attacks all took their toll.
Even Valls himself had recently hinted he'd challenge Hollande in a primary.>> He would himself have to compete with ex-ministers or unknown politicians or if he decided to run as an independent candidate it would have been a decision that would've killed the socialist party.>> Whatever happens, Hollande at least made history of sorts stepping aside makes him the first President in modern times to not seek re-election