• France's news in English
 

Sarkozy v Hollande - Will there be a 2017 sequel?

Published: 14 Feb 2013 11:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Feb 2013 15:15 GMT+01:00

The rumours have been around for a while now but more and more voices are joining the growing chorus of people predicting the return to politics of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The latest to predict the return of Sarkozy is one of his strongest allies in French politics, former prime minister Alain Juppé, who has openly touted the former president’s return as an opponent to François Hollande in the 2017 presidential election.

“I sense that he has a desire to put himself forward,” Juppé told France’s parliamentary TV channel LCP on Wednesday.

“He follows political news with a lot of care. I speak to him on the phone and I see that he’s staying watchful,” said Juppé.

It is not just Sarkozy's allies in the UMP party that are evoking a return of their former leader, apparently president François Hollande himself is expecting another showdown against his erstwhile right-wing rival.

“He’s convinced that Sarko wants his revenge, and will be his opponent [in the next presidential election],” a source close to the current head of state told French daily Le Parisien on Thursday.

An unnamed government minister was also able to see the logic in a ‘Sarkozy 2017’ campaign. Speaking to Le Parisien, the minister pointed out: “There’s a crisis of leadership on the right, and Sarko mobilized his electorate. He succeeded in bringing out the base.”

“And you want my opinion? He’s bored to death,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, the group "Friends of Nicolas Sarkozy", made up of his former allies, continues to meet up on a regular basis. The group, whose next rendezvous is next Wednesday in Paris, officially meet for the purpose of holding regular talks on Sarkozy's presidency, but unofficially it is believed they are plotting the former leader's path back into politics.

Along with his wife Carla Bruni, the former president has been racking up the air miles – and the speculation – since his defeat to then Socialist leader François Hollande in last May’s election.

First, there was a month-long holiday to Morocco, followed by a controversial stay in Canada while police raided Sarkozy’s Paris offices.

In December, Sarkozy, former leader of the centre-right UMP attempted to resolve the party’s leadership dispute between François Fillon and Jean-François Copé, confirming for many that he was still the main man among France conservatives.

Then on January 21st, The Local reported on claims that the former president was planning to start a near -€1 billion investment fund, and decamp to London to manage it.

Even Sarkozy’s wife, the Franco-Italian singer and actress Carla Bruni, has begun to mention the possibility of her husband’s return to political life, though her support for such a move seems in doubt.

“I have absolutely no desire for him to dive back in there. We are very happy in our new life,” she told French news website Atlantico on Tuesday.

However, she measured her comments by predicting a 2017 second-round presidential duel between François Hollande and far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

“Yes, it’s true, Nicolas could avoid that dreadful face-off for France,” she added.

For her part, Bruni, who married Sarkozy in 2008, has been pursuing her music career again, after a four-year hiatus while she was France’s first lady.

 Her new album, “Little French Songs”, is set to be released on April 1st, and will be followed by a tour in the autumn, according to AFP.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Teen driver who killed four 'had been drinking'
An arrow painted on the road by the police indicates the direction of the road accident. Photo: AFP

Teen driver who killed four 'had been drinking'

The driver of a van which crashed killing four teenagers and injuring ten others in northwestern France over the weekend was under the influence of alcohol, it emerged on Monday. READ  

French beach re-opens to public as Saudis leave
A woman watches as workmen dismantle the lift built for the Saudi royals. Photo: AFP

French beach re-opens to public as Saudis leave

UPDATED: Workers were busily returning a beach in southern France to its previous condition on Monday after the departure of Saudi King Salman, whose commandeering of the coastline had caused uproar among locals. READ  

Experts meet in Paris over Boeing 777 debris
Officials come the waterside in Réunion looking for more clues. Photo: AFP

Experts meet in Paris over Boeing 777 debris

French and Malaysian aviation experts met in Paris on Monday to probe the disappearance of Flight MH370, after mystery plane debris washed up on the French island of Réunion last week. READ  

Summer storms to batter south-western France
The heavy weather is expected to roll in at 7pm, not abating until 6pm on Tuesday. File photo: AFP

Summer storms to batter south-western France

Parts of France's south west are on high alert on Monday with wild weather set to create havoc in three coastal départements from the early evening on. READ  

French transport giant to upgrade London tube
The London underground is set to get some major improvements. Photo: Nico Hogg/Flickr

French transport giant to upgrade London tube

French transport systems giant Thales on Monday announced a €1 billion ($1.09 billion) deal to upgrade four lines of the London Underground. READ  

'Massacre' of black cats shocks Marseille locals
Black cats are being killed in the Marseille housing unit. Photo: nwartist/Flickr

'Massacre' of black cats shocks Marseille locals

A woman who feeds local cats in a Marseille housing block has been left horrified after the gruesome killing of black cats in the area - leaving her to wonder if a neighbour is "very superstitious". READ  

Migrants step up efforts to cross Channel Tunnel
Migrants in Calais are becoming ever-more desperate to cross the Channel to the UK. Photo: AFP

Migrants step up efforts to cross Channel Tunnel

Migrants in Calais made around 1,700 attempts overnight to penetrate the Channel Tunnel premises in a bid to get to England, French police sources said on Monday, and an officer sustained facial injuries from a stone. READ  

Rampaging kids trash French kindergarten
Speaking after the incident, officials in troubled Melun described the scene as an "apocalyptic landscape". File photo: Ella Novak

Rampaging kids trash French kindergarten

Police were called in on Saturday evening after a band of children, some of them as young as five, vandalized a nursery in the suburbs of Paris. READ  

Two Frenchmen mauled in Bayonne bullfight
Bullfighting is a popular tradition in the region. File photo: AFP

Two Frenchmen mauled in Bayonne bullfight

The Bayonne Festival in southern France ended on a sour note on Sunday when a bull jumped out of the bull ring and gored two men — one in the scrotum. READ  

Réunion wreckage
More debris found on Réunion in MH370 hunt
Local volunteers search for more potential plane debris and items on the shore in Saint-Andre, Reunion Island. Photo: Ouissem Gombra / Imaz Press Renuion / AFP

More debris found on Réunion in MH370 hunt

Investigators probing missing flight MH370 collected more debris on an Indian Ocean island on Sunday as Malaysia urged authorities in the region to be on alert for wreckage washing up on their shores. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
French court says 'non' to new cockfighting pits
France names capital cities for new regions
Ten things you didn't know about Gay Paris
France eyes boost to holiday leave rights
Business & Money
French dating sites 'not protecting client privacy'
Features
Learn more about the Bayonne festival - France's wildest party
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in August
Features
What to see and do at the Paris Plages this summer
Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach
Take a closer look at the 560,000-year-old tooth found in France
National
Swiss army pilfers French water to give to thirsty cows
National
'B**ch' and 'brainless': French shop slurs clients
Travel
French cops rebel over order to give kids sweets
National
New measures to stop migrant deaths in Calais
Travel
Here are some of the most ridiculous comments you'll read about France
Features
Life may be about to get easier for expats settling in France
National
Burning tyres and blocking roads is just the way the French do strikes
National
Muslim tourists visiting French Alps are reminded of burqa ban
Opinion
Slim and chic: Are French women fed up of the stereotypes?
French officials defend handing public beach over to Saudi royals
Society
French kiss: Should expats in France do 'la bise' among themselves?
National
Paris commuters and tourists face summer of travel trouble
This man learnt the entire French vocabulary in nine weeks, but why?
French speed cameras snare tens of thousands of British drivers
Gallery
What kind of expat in France are you: A lover or a loather?
Society
French tweeters reveal the trials and tribulations of #GrowingupFrench
Where to find the best (and worst) quality of life in France
National
Riviera rumpus as Saudi royals grab public beach all for themselves
What we know about France's foiled terror plot
Features
Here are ten places in Paris where you can escape the summer heat
National
Coup d'état fails in France after being snubbed by military
Are shoppers in northern France the most honest in the world?
French woman fined €90 for driving in flip-flops
Cyclists in Paris get the green light to jump red
'Adieu France': Angry mum's parting rant goes viral
Franco-German rift opens over Greece and it could take time to heal
The Megavalanche: The most spectacular cycling event in France
Ex-French PM's daughter creates a buzz by going topless for photo shoot
Could Parisians be bathing in the Seine by 2024?
Paris unveils new mobile app to help non-French speakers
France declares war on public transport sex pests
So where's the best place to live in France if you want to be happy?
Opinion
Paris: The City of Light, Romance, Style and the worst loos in Europe?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,644
jobs available