Veteran French politician Alain Juppé said he would run in the right-wing UMP party’s primary race for the 2017 presidential election, according to a blog post on his website Wednesday.
Juppé – who, at various points in his career, has served as France’s prime minister, foreign minister and defense minister – made the announcement Wednesday in a blog post titled, “2017, coming soon”.
The 69-year-old politician said he would stand for the UMP primaries, which he said should be held in the spring of 2016.
The opposition UMP has made no official statement on the likelihood of the party holding US-style primaries amid speculation that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is also eyeing a bid for the country’s top post following his 2012 election defeat to Socialist François Hollande.
In his blog post, Juppé noted the challenges confronting France, with an economic crises rattling Europe while the eastern part of the continent is threatened by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expansionism.
The task of a French leader, Juppé noted, was to instill confidence among the French people to overcome the problems of the present in order to build a stable future.
“That’s why I have decided to participate in this beautiful mission. That's why I have decided to be a candidate, at the appropriate time, in a future primary,” said Juppé. “The time is now.”
The opposition UMP party has been in a leadership crisis since 2012, following a bitterly contested race between former French prime minister François Fillon and former party leader Jean-François Copé.
Copé was forced to announce his resignation in May following corruption allegations.
The party has since been led by a triumvirate of three former prime ministers, including Juppé, Fillon and Jean-Pierre Rafarin.
Date created : 2014-08-20