French President Francois Hollande
won't seek a second term in office.
The Socialist president made the
announcement during a televised appearance.
An emotional Hollande said that he was
aware of the “risks” to the political Left, a possible reference
to his low approval ratings – a scant 4 percent in a recent poll.
Hollande campaigned on a pledge that he
would sign a law that extended marriage rights to gay and lesbian
couples. In 2013, he signed such a bill into law, making France the
14th nation with marriage equality.
In remarks after the legislation
cleared its final hurdle, Hollande praised it as “progress.”
“The law opens up new rights without
sacrificing the rights of others. I think that over the next few
months it will be accepted as a law promoting reconciliation and
progress,” he said, adding that it was “now time to respect the
law and the Republic.”
First round of voting in the 2017
French presidential election takes places on April 23, with a
possible run-off between the two top vote-getters scheduled for May