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France's Hollande Will Name Ayrault as PM

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 favorite for the post, to be announced at around 4:00 pm (14:00 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.

Source: Agence France Presse


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