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Sarkozy on track to regain control of the French Right

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Marseille, 28 October, 2014
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Marseille, 28 October, 2014 Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

After losing against socialist François Hollande in 2012’s Presidential election, former right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy dreams of winning back France. The first step is to take back control of the conservative UMP group on 29 November, which brought him to power in 2007.


There is no doubt Sarkozy aims to return to power in two years and a half but the task is filled with difficulties. These challenges include reviving a torn party that has no clear political agenda and winning the 2016 primary campaign, one year before the Presidential election. All of this without being caught by legal cases.

The results for UMP’s presidential election leave no mystery. Sarkozy appears to be the party members’ favourite and should win the election for lack of any major opponents.

He faces two other competitors: one of his former ministers’ Bruno Le Maire and Hervé Mariton, an MP famous for his stance against gay-marriage that was legalised by the left-wing in 2013.

Sarkozy lead the conservative UMP group for three years and had obtained more than 85% of the votes in 2004, a result which provided him with a stepping stone to become President in 2007.

However, there are chances he will not obtain such a high-score this time. The former President is struggling to seduce the French, with two-thirds of them thinking his political come-back is a failure, according to a survey published at the beginning of November.

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