France's Hollande will name Ayrault as PM: friend

15th May 2012, Comments 0 comments

A close friend of Francois Hollande said Tuesday that the French president-elect will name Jean-Marc Ayrault, the head of the Socialists' parliamentary bloc, as his prime minister.

"I think he will be named later, yes," Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the head of France's financial markets watchdog AMF and a classmate of Hollande's at the elite Ecole Nationale d'Administration, said on French radio.

The much-anticipated choice will be announced in the afternoon.

Ayrault, 62, a longtime Hollande ally who was the favourite for the post, to be announced at around 4:00 pm (1400 GMT) as the new president's first order of business before he heads to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Hollande, 57, takes the oath of office at around 10:00 am, nine days after defeating right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy in a fierce campaign.

© 2012 AFP

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