Former French education minister Benoit Hamon, who came top in the first round of a Socialist presidential primary, says his score proves that people are through with old-style politics. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Left wingers who backed Benoit Hamon in France's Socialist primary on Sunday (January 22) were voting to break with the past, the ex-minister said after qualifying top for the second round, ahead of former boss Manuel Valls. The rebel minister who left President Francois Hollande's government because of disagreements over its business-friendly economics secured 35.2 percent of the vote in the primary while Valls won 31 percent, according to preliminary results. Left wing ally and former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg was eliminated and quickly called on his supporters to back Hamon in next Sunday's second round. "By making me come first, you've sent a clear message of hope and change, a desire to write a new chapter in the history of the left and France," Hamon told supporters and journalists from his election party on a barge in Paris. After five years of deeply unpopular rule, Hollande announced late last year that he would not run for a second term and opinion polls indicate that no Socialist candidate has much chance of getting beyond the first round of the election in April-May.