French President Francois Hollande announced Thursday he will not seek re-election next year.
This is the first time since 1958, when France's Fifth Republic was created, that an incumbent president has not sought a second term, CNN reports. French voters will head to the polls to vote in spring 2017, and Hollande's Socialist Party now needs to find a candidate to go up against Francois Fillon of the center-right Republican Party and Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front. In 2012, Hollande was victorious over Nicolas Sarkozy, and became France's first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand was re-elected in 1988.
Hollande is suffering from low popularity numbers, and his presidency has been plagued by major acts of terrorism, including the November 2015 attacks across Paris that left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. Unemployment is lower than it was in the beginning of the year, but Hollande acknowledged Thursday it "remains at too high a level." Hollande said his achievements include fighting against discrimination, strengthening women's rights, and opening marriage to everyone, and he warned France against the far-right's call to "retreat, to exit Europe and the world."