Europe

Valls vs Hamon in French Socialists' presidential primary

  • Posters are set up on chairs before the meeting of former French prime minister and candidate in the left-wing primary for the 2017 French presidential election, Manuel Valls, in Alfortville, outside Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Former education minister Benoit Hamon will take on former prime minister Manuel Valls in a run-off vote on January 29, 2017, after scoring a surprise win in the first round of a primary seen as a battle for the party's soul. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Posters are set up on chairs before the meeting of former French prime minister and candidate in the left-wing primary for the 2017 French presidential election, Manuel Valls, in Alfortville, outside Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Former education minister Benoit Hamon will take on former prime minister Manuel Valls in a run-off vote on January 29, 2017, after scoring a surprise win in the first round of a primary seen as a battle for the party's soul. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former French prime minister and candidate in the left-wing primary for the 2017 French presidential election, Manuel Valls, delivers his speech during a meeting in Alfortville, outside Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Former education minister Benoit Hamon will take on former prime minister Manuel Valls in a run-off vote on January 29, 2017, after scoring a surprise win in the first round of a primary seen as a battle for the party's soul. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Former French prime minister and candidate in the left-wing primary for the 2017 French presidential election, Manuel Valls, delivers his speech during a meeting in Alfortville, outside Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Former education minister Benoit Hamon will take on former prime minister Manuel Valls in a run-off vote on January 29, 2017, after scoring a surprise win in the first round of a primary seen as a battle for the party's soul. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former French prime minister and candidate in the left-wing primary for the 2017 French presidential election, Manuel Valls, waves to supporters during a meeting in Alfortville, outside Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Former education minister Benoit Hamon will take on former prime minister Manuel Valls in a run-off vote on January 29, 2017, after scoring a surprise win in the first round of a primary seen as a battle for the party's soul. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Former French prime minister and candidate in the left-wing primary for the 2017 French presidential election, Manuel Valls, waves to supporters during a meeting in Alfortville, outside Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Former education minister Benoit Hamon will take on former prime minister Manuel Valls in a run-off vote on January 29, 2017, after scoring a surprise win in the first round of a primary seen as a battle for the party's soul. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

French voters are choosing the Socialist candidate who will face a tough battle to beat rivals from the far-left, the far-right and the political center in France's presidential election this spring.

The choice Sunday in the Socialist primary runoff is a stark one, between two candidates on opposite poles of the beleaguered party with sharply different plans for France.

With a headline-grabbing proposal to pay all French adults a monthly stipend, Benoit Hamon, 49, has emerged from obscurity on the Socialist left to win the primary's first round against six other candidates last weekend.

On Sunday, he is facing former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

The 54-year-old Valls has emphasized his experience in government, which includes a time when attackers killed 147 people in France in January and November 2015.