- The Washington Times - Monday, March 31, 2014

French President Francois Hollande is set to promote Interior Minister Manuel Valls to prime minister as part of a cabinet shake-up, Agence France-Presse reported Monday.

Mr. Hollande decided to replace current Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault after his Socialist Party suffered humiliating losses in local elections Sunday, the report said.

Mr. Ayrault started off as the most popular prime minister in 50 years, but soon became the target of blame for Mr. Hollande’s failure to follow through on campaign promises. He was forced to admit the election results seemed to be a clear message for the Socialist-ruling government.

“[It’s] a defeat for the government and the majority,” Mr. Ayrault said, BBC reported. “The message is clear. … The president will draw conclusions, and he will do so in the interest of France.”

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