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Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-07

Guillaume Peltier, vice-president of France’s right-wing UMP party, announced on Tuesday that he planned to hold a string of demonstrations to call for the return of the “the right’s natural leader,” former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The vice-president of France’s opposition UMP party, Guillaume Peltier, announced on Tuesday that he planned to hold a string of demonstrations dubbed the “La Fête de la Violette” (the Violet Rally, in response to the Socialist Party's Rose symbol) to demand the return of party darling and former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

“Nicolas Sarkozy is the right’s natural leader,” Peltier told French radio RMC. “We need his charisma, his energy, his authority and experience.”

Following Sarkozy’s failed re-election bid against then-Socialist Party candidate François Hollande last year, the UMP party has struggled to find a viable candidate to fill the former president’s shoes. Although the next presidential election isn’t until 2017, the UMP found itself in splinters after a disastrous leadership vote last November left the party divided between Sarkozy’s former prime minister François Fillon and ex-minister Jean-François Copé.

Sarkozy has also been primping himself for a possible political return. The former president publically stated in March that he may be forced to return to office out of “duty,” a sentiment he reiterated in comments published Tuesday by the French daily “Le Parisien”.

“I may be obligated to return,” Sarkozy said, adding that “[French] society is very fragile, all it needs is a match”.

In March, France’s BVA opinion and polling centre published a study that found 68 percent of French voters were disappointed with Hollande’s performance as president, while 51 percent also said they felt Sarkozy would have done a better job had he won re-election.

Peltier said that the first Violet Rally demonstration is scheduled to take place on July 6 in France’s central Sologne region.

Date created : 2013-05-07


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