In the end he knew that he was virtually entirely alone. And so at 8 p.m. local time President François Hollande, speaking live on television from the Elysée Palace, said that he would not put himself forward as a candidate for the 2017 presidential election. It is the first time a president in France’s Fifth Republic has declined to seek re-election and came after a difficult presidency in which, little by little, the head of state has provoked despair among his own electorate, his political camp, his political family and many of his friends.
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