PARIS, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- An opinion poll on voter intentions released on Thursday showed ex-prime minister Manuel Valls was dominating the Socialist party competition for the 2017 French presidential race.

With 43 percent, Valls is set to top the first-round primary, outpacing ex-economy minister Arnaud Montebourg by 18 percentage points.

Benoit Hamon, the country's former education minister, is predicted to rank third with 22 percent of the vote, according to a Harris Interactive survey conducted for France Televisions.

However, whoever wins the Socialist ticket in the Jan. 22 and 29 primary elections has little chance of making it to the run-off round of the presidential election in May, the country's pollsters said.

There are seven declared contenders for the left primary, including former ministers Vincent Peillon and Sylvia Pinel, in addition to ecologists Francois de Rugy and Jean-Luc Bennahmias.

Ex-economy minister Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Melenchon, head of far-left party, have launched their own campaigns, which is likely to divide votes and crush the left parties' hope to build enough momentum to challenge the conservative candidate Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front party.

Valls, 54, became France's prime minister in 2014 in a bid to win back the Socialists' popularity after their heavy defeat in the mayoral run-off.

If he wins, Valls, a security hardliner, plans to recruit 5,000 additional police officers over the next five years and raise the defense budget to 2.0 percent of France's gross domestic product, in order to strengthen security in a country where terror threats remain high.

In a bid to regain the confidence of upset left voters, he proposed a welfare handout which would be accessible to people in need and to reduce tax on overtime work to improve households' purchasing power.

Contenders for the left primary will defend their presidential bids in three televised debates scheduled for Jan. 12, 15, and 19.


(Source: Xinhua)




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BAGHDAD Cheap Alexandre Lacazette Jersey , Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- While militants of the Islamic State (IS) are making fresh gains in northern Iraq, Baghdad was plunged into political infighting after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced his decision late Sunday to sue President Fuad Masum for alleged constitutional violation.

In a nationally televised speech on Sunday night, Maliki accused Masum of missing the deadline to ask the country's biggest political bloc to nominate a prime minister and form a government as stipulated in Iraq's constitution.

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