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Former French PM confirms candidacy to be Barcelona mayor

Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Tuesday confirmed that he will run to be next mayor of Barcelona in local elections scheduled for 2019.

At the Center of Contemporary Culture in Barcelona, Valls said he would step down from his seat as a French Deputy and "resign" from all of his "responsibilities in France," to stand as an "independent" candidate in Barcelona.

"I want to be the next Mayor of Barcelona; that will depend on the Barcelonans," he commented, saying his candidacy was "not a sacrifice, but an act of faith."

An opponent of the Catalan independence, Valls explained he will have the support of the center-right party "Ciudadanos" in his campaign, but his desire was for "many more" parties to lend their support -- something that looks unlikely given that the right wing People's Party (PP) and the Socialists (PSC) have already said they will present their own candidates.

"I am from the political left. I come from French Socialism and I am a Republican, but I am independent. I am not against parties, I simply want to recover the respect the city deserves," commented Valls.

Valls served as French interior minister and prime minister in the past. He said he would use the experience to be "harder than ever against violence...""We have to recover Barcelona," he said.

Valls'grandfather was from Barcelona, but despite being born in the city, he was raised entirely in France, although he is fluent in both Spanish and Catalan and gave Tuesday's conference in both languages.

Valls' main opponent in the election will almost certainly be the current Mayor Ada Colou, spokesperson for the left-leaning Barcelona en Comu who leads a coalition government in the Barcelona City Hall.

Source:Xinhua  Editor:Lucky

(Source_title:Former French PM confirms candidacy to be Barcelona mayor)