UMP voters back Sarkozy for 2017 return

UMP voters back Sarkozy for 2017 return
Photo: Remi Jouan
Some 53 percent of UMP voters would like to see former French head of state Nicolas Sarkozy to be the party's candidate in the 2017 presidential elections, according to a new poll.
The Ifop poll published in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper, showed that 53 percent of UMP supporters want the ousted French premier "back in politics" and considered him to be "the right candidate in the presidential election of 2017".
Over 40 percent of UMP supporters would prefer to see Sarkozy, who lost out to Francois Hollande in the May election, "back in politics but only speaking on various subjects".
Only 7 percent stated that they would not like Sarkozy to return.
Nicolas Sarkozy remains a public figure in France and was recently roundly criticised by the French government after calling for "rapid international action" to end the crisis in Syria.
It was the former premier's first public comment on the Syria crisis since he lost the presidential election was immediately slammed as irresponsible by foreign minister Laurent Fabius.
"I'm astonished that Mr Sarkozy wants to start a polemic on such a grave subject," Fabius said before calling in question the ex-president's motives.
A new book has meanwhile revealed how there is little love lost between Sarkozy and his successor to the presidential post.
Socialist party candidate Francois Hollande is reported to have referred to Sarkozy as an "absolute bastard", according to author Laurent Binet, who was invited to follow Hollande's 2012 election campaign. 
Furthermore Sarkozy is set to be questioned by a magistrate investigating claims that his 2007 election campaign received illegal funding from France's richest woman Liliane Bettencourt.
The former president lost his immunity from prosecution in June.

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