Manuel Valls to vote for Macron

The former French prime minister Manuel Valls has announced that he will vote for the independent candidate Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election, explaining that he wants to prevent Marine Le Pen from winning. Some commentators are furious that Valls has turned his back on his own party's candidate, Socialist Benoît Hamon. Others believe Valls is doing the right thing.

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Le Monde (FR) /

That does not wash, Monsieur Valls!

Valls has torpedoed the results of the left-wing primaries with his announcement, a group of academics, journalists and artists write in an open letter to the former prime minister in Le Monde:

“The total disdain with which you oppose the citizens' vote is unacceptable. Just because Benoît Hamon does not embody your brand of 'reformism', you claim the right to reject the opinion expressed by more than 1.2 million left-wing voters with the flick of a finger. ... It is hugely paradoxical that in the name of grand democratic principles you now choose to trample on the very principle of democratic voting which designated Benoît Hamon as the candidate of the entire left-green spectrum. Supporting Benoît Hamon is above all about showing respect for voters and the very idea of democracy. It's what is called loyalty. And in politics, loyalty is the last bastion against populism.”

Slate (FR) /

The left's rule is over

Valls' decision to support Macron and not his own party's candidate is logical, Slate explains:

“Macron, like Valls, has learned the lessons of numerous failures. If the left had managed to change capitalism with its blockades, we would have noticed. Macron is putting an end to the verbose utopia. He is not the first one to do this, but unlike others before him he seems more confident of his approach; he doesn't come across as if he's just putting on an act. He is not just an accomplice of the capitalists. ... Valls has his reasons. His stance is all the harder because the left has tolerated dreadful things in the past. ... So he is breaking with it - and quite rightly. Macron and Valls have different temperaments and different ambitions. Together or apart, however, they are telling the left that it is finished. Its era was just a long series of errors and mistakes and now it is over.”