Former French President Sarkozy sets up 2017 presidential bid | News | DW | 03.07.2016
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Former French President Sarkozy sets up 2017 presidential bid

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced he will be stepping down as leader of the Les Republicains party. The move is seen as a precursor to running in presidential election primaries later in the year.

Nicolas Sarkozy said he would be quitting his role as head of France's Les Republicains party, setting up a potential bid to become head of state for a second time. Sarkozy told members of his party at a gathering on June 2 that this was his last occasion they would be seeing him as party leader.

"This national council will be my last one as president of Les Republicains," he told a party meeting, calling for a fair contest and no acrimony between the potential nominees.

Sarkozy would not be able to run in the presidential primaries if he remained head of the party.

A tight race

Supporters of Les Republicains (and other allied parties) will vote in November to choose a candidate for the 2017 French presidential election. Sarkozy is expected to be up against 13 others in his party who have already declared their candidacies.

Sarkozy's centre-right rival Alain Juppe has outpaced the former president in a number of opinion polls so far; however, a recent survey showed that the man who was president between 2007 and 2012 could be making a comeback among party supporters.

The winner will be up against the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen and a yet-to-be-announced Socialist candidate, which is likely to be incumbent French President Francois Hollande.

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