Former president Hollande makes surprise comeback in French election

France's former Socialist president Francois Hollande on Saturday said he would run for parliament again, the latest political twist following his successor Emmanuel Macron's surprise decision to call snap legislative elections.

Macron's dissolving of parliament after the French far right's victory in European parliamentary elections has swiftly redrawn the lines of French politics.

A new left-wing alliance has emerged and the main right-wing party's leader has announced he is prepared to back an alliance with the far right, sparking in-fighting within his political family.

On Saturday, police estimated that a quarter of a million people protested across France against the prospect of the far right coming to power.

But the latest polls still put the far right comfortably in the lead.

Hollande, France's president from 2012-2017, left office with record levels of unpopularity. He is hated by parts of the radical left and even the Socialist leadership regards him with suspicion.

He said he would stand as an MP for the southwestern Correze department for the New Popular Front, a left-wing grouping formed for the elections that includes the Socialists, hard-left, Greens and Communists.

'I want to be of service'

"An exceptional decision for an exceptional situation," Hollande told reporters in the department's main town of Tulle, explaining his surprise comeback.

"I just want to be of service."

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Former French president Hollande weds actress Julie Gayet
French Socialists hoping for a Mitterrand miracle, four decades on
Former French president Hollande snubs alliance with hard left