Francois Hollande may back his former economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, to succeed him in office, one of the French president’s close friends, Dominique Villemot, said in Le Journal du Dimanche.
Macron quit Hollande’s cabinet last August to run for president in 2017. He currently ranks third in polls behind Republican candidate Francois Fillon and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen.
“For the moment, the president is pointing out the dangers of Fillon and Le Pen, and isn’t supporting anyone in this primary,” Villemot, a lawyer, was quoted as saying in an interview. “He will address this at the end of February or the beginning of March. But Francois Hollande will probably support Macron.”
Segolene Royal, the environment minister and former partner of Hollande, may also back Macron, the newspaper said. “I’ll do what seems to me the most helpful for the left,” Royal was quoted as saying in a separate interview with Le Journal du Dimanche.