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Hollande’s ex-partner named to new French cabinet

Philippe Martin (center) was replaced as environment and energy minister by Ségolène Royal.
Philippe Martin (center) was replaced as environment and energy minister by Ségolène Royal.Etienne Laurent/European Pressphoto Agency

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PARIS (AP) — Faced with a voter backlash at the polls, French President Francois Hollande is looking to revive his sputtering presidency with help from a surprising quarter: Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children.

Royal, a high-profile Socialist in her own right, was tapped Wednesday to take over as minister of environment and energy in the new government named by Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Hollande, following a crushing defeat for their Socialist Party in municipal voting Sunday.

Speaking on French television, Royal said she is ‘‘very honored and at the same time I understand the importance of this major ministry in turning around the country and the job creation that goes with that.’’

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