File - This picture taken on November 20, 2013 shows French Interior minister Manuel Valls leaving the Elysee palace after the weekly cabinet meeting. AFP PHOTO/ ALAIN JOCARD
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Hollande, who was expected to confirm the move in an address to the nation at 1800 GMT, decided to axe current Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault after his Socialist Party lost more than 150 towns and cities to the main opposition and far-right in municipal elections on Sunday.Both the far-right National Front (FN) and the mainstream opposition made historic gains in Sunday's nationwide elections, which were the first major electoral test since Hollande's 2012 election.Even more worrying for Hollande and Co. was the strong showing of the mainstream Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).For the rest of the reshuffle, there is also keen interest in whether Hollande will recall the mother of his four children, Segolene Royal, from the political wilderness.Royal was the Socialists' presidential candidate in 2007 but her inclusion in Hollande's first cabinet was reportedly blocked because of hostility from Valerie Trierweiler, the president's then girlfriend.
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