Benoît Hamon (French: [bə.nwa a.mɔ̃]; born 26 June 1967) is a French politician and a former member of the Socialist Party (PS) and Party of European Socialists (PES). He became the PS candidate for the 2017 French presidential election after defeating Manuel Valls in the second round of the party primary on 29 January 2017.
Hamon was Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East of France from 2004 to 2009. He was also the leader of the left-wing of the PS during the 2008 Reims Congress and its candidate for the First Secretaryship. In May 2012, he was appointed Junior Minister for the Social Economy at the Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and External Trade by President François Hollande, serving in that post for two years. He was Minister of National Education from April 2014 until August 2014, resigning as a result of what he considered President Hollande's abandonment of a socialist agenda.
After the candidacy for the First Secretary of the PS became a contest between Ségolène Royal and Martine Aubry, Hamon urged his supporters to vote for Aubry, who secured a narrow, contested majority.
On 16 May 2012, Hamon was appointed Junior Minister for the Social Economy at the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and External Trade by President François Hollande. Hamon was Minister of National Education from 2 April 2014 until 25 August 2014, resigning as a result of Hollande's abandonment of a socialist agenda. He was national secretary for Europe and spokesperson for the Socialist Party.
Hamon announced his intention to seek the French presidency in August 2016. Critical of the social-liberal politics of Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Hamon represented the left-wing and green side of the Socialist Party during the primary.
Hamon wants to give all French citizens a basic income, believing that the availability of work will decrease due to automation. He supports a 35-hour workweek, and less if a worker chooses in exchange for state compensation, and supports the legalisation of cannabis and euthanasia. He also argues for sizeable investments in renewable energy, aiming for renewable sources to provide 50% of French energy by 2025, and wants to protect the "common goods" (water, air, biodiversity) in the Constitution. Hamon is also very critical of the neoliberal "myth of infinite economic growth", which he blames for "destroying the planet" and argues is a "quasi-religion" among politicians. "There is an urgency to change now our way to produce and consume. [...] We can negotiate with bankers, but we can't negotiate with the planet."
Polling in January 2017 showed that his support had tripled and put him into serious contention for the nomination. On 22 January 2017, Hamon came in first in the first round of the primary, ahead of Valls. He secured the support of Arnaud Montebourg, who placed third, soon thereafter. In the runoff on 29 January, he won the Socialist Party nomination.
Addressing the 1 July Movement on 1 July 2017, Hamon said he was leaving the Socialist Party but not socialism. He called for the formation of local committees of the left to decide the movement's future.
Avec le PS, c’est autre chose. D’abord, la rencontre est fortuite. En 1986, la loi Devaquet sur l’université enflamme les amphis. Etudiant en sciences éco puis en histoire à Brest, Benoît Hamon fait partie des frondeurs.
|Minister of National Education