left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Sarkozy announces bid for 2017 presidential race

Updated: 2016-08-23 09:02

Sarkozy announces bid for 2017 presidential race

File photo of Nicolas Sarkozy (L), former president and current head of the Les Republicains political party, and French President Francois Hollande after their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 22, 2016. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will run for next year's presidential election, he announced on his Facebook account August 22, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - Nicolas Sarkozy will run for president in 2017, hoping to return as France's head of state after being unseated in 2012 by the now deeply unpopular Francois Hollande, he announced on Monday.

A figure either loved or loathed by conservative voters, Sarkozy says in a forthcoming book he will join more than a dozen contenders vying for the party ticket in primaries, where former prime minister Alain Juppe will be his strongest rival.

"I felt I had the strength to lead this battle at a troubled time in our history," Sarkozy wrote on his social media pages ahead of the publication on Wednesday of "Everything for France".

Sarkozy has done little to conceal his desire to return to the Elysee Palace since returning to high-level politics in late 2014 when he took the helm of France's main centre-right party, Les Republicains.

In July his poll rating overtook Juppe's among core Les Republicains supporters, though he was still less popular among centre-right voters as a whole.

With a string of deadly Islamist attacks shaping the political discourse, Sarkozy has been scathing of Hollande's security record, urging France to get tough on immigration, crack down on Islamist militancy and halt the erosion of France's secular identity.

Courting voters tempted by France's far-right National Front, Sarkozy has laced speeches with references to national identity and blamed "cowardly leaders" for a loss of French culture.

"It wasn't that long ago that when we talked about immigration, identity and removing citizenship we were called fascists," Sarkozy told supporters in June.

"But minds have changed, the masses are rising, the people are standing up and they are saying louder and louder: 'That's enough!'"

With France in a state of emergency, Sarkozy's emphasis on national identity and the credentials to present himself as a former interior minister and experienced Commander-in-Chief may help his chances.

But legal troubles surrounding party financing and over-spending by his 2012 presidential campaign, as well as his divisive personality could trip him up.

Sarkozy credits himself with steering Europe through the financial crisis during his 2007-2012 term. But his weak performance on free-market reforms to revive the economy disappointed business leaders.

The Nov. 20 primary is the first ever to be held by France's main right-wing party. If, as expected, no candidate, wins an absolute majority a run-off vote will be held a week later.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.