Ayrault is named new French prime minister

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PARIS (AP) --

French President Francois Hollande has named Jean-Marc Ayrault as his new prime minister.

The incoming Elysee Palace Secretary-General Pierre-Rene Lemas announced the choice Tuesday afternoon, hours after Hollande was sworn in.

Ayrault is a the leader of the Socialists in France's lower house of parliament. He is also a German speaker -- a potential advantage for Hollande, whose success as president may partly depend on his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 62-year-old Ayrault succeeds conservative Francois Fillon as the head of government.