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Sarkozy Announces Candidacy for French Presidential Elections | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Nicolas Sarkozy in a meeting at Boulogne-Billancourt, on November 2014. REUTERS. Philippe Wojazer

Paris- Nicolas Sarkozy will run for presidency in 2017, hoping to return as France’s head of state after being unseated in 2012 by Francois Hollande, he announced on Monday on his Twitter account.

Sarkozy, 61, 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.

In an extract of a book released on his Facebook page and Twitter account Monday, Sarkozy wrote: “I have decided to be a candidate to the 2017 presidential election.”

“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.”

When he left the Elysee Palace, he said he was leaving politics and would find a different way to serve his country.

Yet, he made a successful comeback in 2014, winning the leadership of the conservative party, known at the time as the UMP.

He explained he was moved to return to politics by the “hopelessness, anger and lack of future” that he sensed among the French.

Since then the party changed its name to “the Republicans.”

Since 2010, Sarkozy’s name has been mentioned in several legal cases relating to corruption and influence-peddling, but he has never been convicted of wrongdoing or been sent to trial.

The French presidential election will take place next year in two rounds in April and May.

The race remains wide open with primaries to be organized by the left in January, and Hollande has not said if he will run for re-election.

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.

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

Sarkozy lost the presidential election to Socialist Francois Hollande in 2012 after his first term.