The Friends of Nicolas Sarkozy Association gathered on Saturday morning to remember his achievements as President and declare their hope for his return in the 2017 election.
Sarkozy’s former colleagues, including former minister of the interior Brice Hortfeux and Nice mayor Christian Estorsi attended the meeting, as well as UMP members.
Former Prime Minister François Fillon was unable to attend following a scooter accident while on holiday this summer.
Press reports say there were between 100 to 2,000 people there, with the Friends of Nicolas Sarkozy claiming to expect up to 4,000.
“We are under the sarkoyste sun rather than the hollandaise rain in La Rochelle!” said Estori at the start of the meeting, in reference to a Socialist Party conference being held at the same time.
“We miss Nicolas Sarkozy and France misses him too,” he added.
As for the star of the show himself – he was taking a break in wife Carla Bruni’s villa in Cap Negre, in the south of France.
“Of course, we are sorry Nicolas Sarkozy could not be with us today,” said Hortefeux.
“But let’s be clear about one thing: he cares about the evolution of society in a world that’s changing. He follows international news very closely. He is a French man among the French population, but he also a politically committed French man. “