French President François Hollande announced on Thursday that he would not run for a second term in office, amid polls that show he would not make it past the first round of the 2017 election.
“I am aware today of the risk that going down a route that would not gather sufficient support would entail, so I have decided not to be a candidate in the presidential election,” Mr. Hollande said in a televised address to France, according to Reuters news agency.
Recent polls have put the socialist president’s approval rating as low as 4 percent, the worst rating in post-war French history. Mr. Hollande defeated conservative Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012, who was also a deeply unpopular one-term president.
Recent polls suggest that none of the potential socialist candidates would make it past the first round. The conservative candidate François Fillon, who recently won his party’s primary, and the far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen are expected to face off in the second round of voting.