Europe

France's Hollande and his premier weigh presidential bids

  • French President Francois Hollande arrives at the Francophonie Summit in Antananarivo, Madagascar on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

    French President Francois Hollande arrives at the Francophonie Summit in Antananarivo, Madagascar on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's President Francois Hollande, during a meeting with his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)

    France's President Francois Hollande, during a meeting with his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's President Francois Hollande, waits his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob, prior to a meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    France's President Francois Hollande, waits his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob, prior to a meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

France's government spokesman is insisting that Socialist President Francois Hollande and his prime minister can't compete against each other in an upcoming presidential primary.

Attention turned Monday turned to the troubled French left, after the staunchly conservative Francois Fillon won the right-wing presidential nomination Sunday on promises of slashing public spending and immigration.

While the unpopular Hollande still hasn't said whether he'll seek re-election, Prime Minister Manuel Valls told French newspaper Journal du dimanche that he is ready to compete in the left-wing primary in January. The national election is in April and May.

Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said on Europe-1 radio Monday, "There will not be a primary between the president and the prime minister." He said Valls could seek the nomination only if he leaves his job.