French PM Manuel Valls announces intention to run for presidency

Mr Valls will resign from his current position this week ahead of next year's presidential election

French PM Manuel Valls announces intention to run for presidency

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Image: Thibault Camus / AP/Press Association Images

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced his intention to run as a potential left-wing candidate in next year's presidential election.

Mr Valls indicated he will step down as prime minister tomorrow to focus on his presidential bid.

Last week, Valls' Socialist party colleague and current French President Francois Hollande announced he will not seek a second term.

He is the first sitting president in modern French history to not seek re-election. The decision came amid his low approval rating - recently dropping to a mere 4%.

Mr Valls said his candidacy aims to counter the "idea that the left is disqualified from this presidential election".

The party's members will choose a candidate early next year. Former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg has announced his intention to compete for the nomination. 

Last month, Francois Fillon was chosen as the Republican candidate after winning the centre-right Republican party's presidential primary.

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen is also contesting the election, seeking to build on the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-establishment feeling in France and other parts of Europe.