Paris, Aug 22 (IANS) Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to run for office again as a candidate in the 2017 presidential election, he has formally declared.
Sarkozy previously served as the President between 2007 and 2012 for Les Republicains party and was beaten by Francois Hollande when he stood for re-election in 2012. He became France’s first President not to be re-elected for a second term since 1981.
His time in office was characterised by a number of scandals, including allegations of corruption.
In 2014, he was held in police custody for 15 hours as part of an investigation into his party’s finances and allegations that he tried to obtain information from a magistrate about legal proceedings against him, the Independent reported.
Sarkozy denied the allegations, accusing political opponents of attempting to run a smear campaign against him to prevent him from re-entering the political arena.
His perceived extravagancy and penchant for celebrity friends earned him the moniker “President Bling Bling”.
During his time out of office, Sarkozy has kept a low profile, with the exception of police dealings.
Recent opinion polls have indicated Sarkozy’s popularity has increased in France. Some French political commentators have suggested he has the required experience and authority to lead France as it struggles with the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks. He is expected to lead his campaign based on hard-line approaches to immigration and security.
Some critics of Francois Hollande have attacked him for being seen as too tolerant and not doing enough to prevent extremism.
Writing on his Facebook page, Sarkozy announced: “I have decided to be a candidate for the 2017 presidential election.”
“I felt I had the strength to lead this battle at a tormented time in our history.”