- Dominique de Villepin speaks to France's TF1
- The former prime minister will face Nicolas Sarkozy, the current president
- "I want to gather all the French, left and right and those in the middle," says de Villepin
Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Sunday he will run for president next year, challenging longtime political rival and current President Nicolas Sarkozy.
"I have decided to run for the 2012 presidential election," de Villepin told French television station TF1. "I want to gather all the French, left and right and those in the middle."
Both Sarkozy and de Villepin served in the Cabinet of former French President Jacques Chirac.
De Villepin is now leader of his own center-right party, Republique Solidaire.
"You will see that in this 2012 campaign, there will be surprises, lots of surprises. I have confidence in the French people's ability to discern what the public interest is, and how now, more than ever, the national unity is priority to all of us," he told TF1.