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France

Sarkozy may ‘run for presidency in 2017’

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-14

Nicolas Sarkozy, still smarting from his defeat in the 2012 French presidential election, may run for office again in 2017, according to former Foreign Minister Alain Juppé.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy may run for office again in 2017, a senior member of his centre-right UMP party hinted on Wednesday.

When asked if Sarkozy would present himself as candidate in 2017, former foreign minister Alain Juppé told France’s Parliamentary Channel LCP, “I get the feeling that he will – even if it’s not for me to answer that question in his place.

“Nicolas Sarkozy is here in France, he follows politics with a great deal of attention and from our regular phone calls I can tell he is extremely vigilant,” Juppé added.

According to a January 6 IFOP poll, 67 per cent of UMP members favour Sarkozy’s return to politics after his defeat at the hands of Socialist opponent and current French President François Hollande in May 2012.

Sarkozy, however, has kept a relatively low public profile since losing the election, largely attending conferences abroad and giving private lectures.

France ‘going to the dogs’

Sarkozy has broken his silence just once, in August 2012, when he demanded international action to stop the Syrian regime’s brutal crackdown on an uprising which has claimed the lives of an estimated 70,000 people.

However, one member of the former president’s entourage told AFP on Wednesday, “There’s no change in Sarkozy’s position… he has retired from political life”.

But others believe that the centre-right ex-president, still smarting from the humiliation of his election defeat, feels it is his duty to return.

“We won’t know for sure until 2015,” one unnamed former minister told Inrocks, a news and cultural weekly magazine, in reaction to Juppé’s comments.

“He will mull it over until at least a year before the UMP primaries, and I would be astonished if he has closed the door on a possible return.

“Sarkozy believes deeply that France is going to the dogs and that Hollande is not enacting the necessary reforms.”

Last October, investigative newspaper the Canard Enchaîné quoted a “close associate” of Sarkozy as saying that the former leader felt a “moral obligation” to be a candidate in 2017.

Date created : 2013-02-14

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