Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared his Socialist Party (PS) is dead and that he wanted to stand for President-elect Emmanuel Macron's political movement in the June parliamentary elections, the first high-profile defection since Macron's election win on Sunday.
"I will be a candidate for the presidential majority and I wish to join his (Macron's) movement," Valls, who was prime minister in Hollande's administration between 2014 and 2016, told RTL radio.
"This Socialist party is dead. It is behind us," he said. "The essential thing today is to give a broad and coherent majority ... to Emmanuel Macron to allow him to govern."
The statement from Macron's former boss, Macron was economy minister when Valls was premier, shows how the political map is being re-drawn in France in the wake of the 39-year-old's crushing victory over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on Sunday.
The new president has said he wants to break with the traditional left-right political axis in France and Valls is inextricably linked to unpopular outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande.
Valls resigned as prime minister to launch his own presidential bid but in a shock result was defeated in the Socialist Party's primary in January by left-wing candidate Benoit Hamon.
The defection highlights the disarray in the Socialist party, whose candidate Benoit Hamon attracted just six percent of votes in the first round of the presidential election.
Valls, who announced in March he would vote for Macron in the presidential election, is on the right of the Socialist party and has similar pro-business views to Macron, who will assume office next Sunday as France's youngest leader since Napoleon.
Jean-Paul Delevoye, head of the committee for selecting parliamentary candidates for Macron's party, said any would-be candidate must respect the party's rules and then the committee would review the application.
"There is one extremely important criterion and that is the sincerity of (the candidate's) support for the presidential program," he told reporters.
Macron's party currently has no seats in parliament. An opinion poll last week predicted however that his party is set to emerge as the largest in the parliamentary elections.
Macron's party chief, Richard Ferrand, told a news conference on Monday that his "En Marche!" movement will now change its name to "En Marche la République" or "Republic on the Move" to structure itself more like a traditional party.
Ferrand said the names of Macron's 577 candidates in the legislative elections would be announced on Thursday.
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