Skip to main content

Sarkozy considering return to French politics

By Dheepthi Namasivayam, CNN
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1732 GMT (0132 HKT)
French former President Nicolas Sarkozy on January 28, 2013 in Paris.
French former President Nicolas Sarkozy on January 28, 2013 in Paris.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Patriotic "duty" may force former President Sarkozy back to politics, he tells a magazine
  • He says he balks at picking up France "where the Socialist Party will leave it"
  • A poll says 56% of his party supporters want him to be the candidate in 2017

(CNN) -- Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will consider returning to politics to save his floundering center-right party, not because he wants to but because of patriotic "duty," according to an article to be published Thursday in a right-leaning magazine.

In an eight-page special called "In the head of Nicolas Sarkozy," the former president discusses his political future in public for the first time.

He is quoted as saying in Valeurs Actuelles magazine that he has no desire to return to politics, a world that "bores him to death," and balks at the task of "picking up France in the state where the Socialist Party will leave it."

But, Sarkozy said, "there will be unfortunately a moment when the question will no longer be: 'Do you want to?' but 'Do you have a choice?'"

2012: Sarkozy concedes election

"In this case, I cannot continue to say: 'I am happy, I take my daughter to school and I give conferences all around the world.' In this case, effectively, I will be obliged to come back. Not by desire. By duty. Only because it is for France."

According to a French Institute of Public Opinion poll released Wednesday, 56% of the supporters of his party -- the Union for a Popular Movement, known as UMP -- prefer Sarkozy as their candidate for the 2017 presidential election.

In the article, Sarkozy criticizes President Francois Hollande, saying the Socialist Party leader "has smashed everything that I managed to build with (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel. Not because he does not get along with her but because his politics are completely opposed to that of Germany."

On the subject of Mali, Sarkozy questioned the government's purpose: "What are we doing over there? Apart from supporting coup-makers and attempting to control a country that is three times the size of France with 4,000 men?"

Since being defeated by Hollande last May -- and vowing never to return to politics -- Sarkozy has kept a low profile, working at his law firm in central Paris.

But rumors of a comeback have intensified since the UMP's confused attempt to elect a successor last November, in which both candidates Francois Fillon and Jean-Francois Cope claimed victory amid intraparty squabbling and allegations of vote-rigging.

After a two-day gridlock, Cope was declared the winner. Fillon disputed this and the pair eventually agreed to a re-election later this year.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0945 GMT (1745 HKT)
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
Gene Simmons reflects on 40 years of KISS, and how even rock royalty needs sound business principles.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0915 GMT (1715 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT