Nikolai Sarkozy has announced his bid for President in 2017. Sarkozy plans to return to Parliament after being removed in 2012 by the now unpopular Francois Hollande.
The former president has always expressed his desire to run for France’s presidency since his return two years ago to political life when he took France's main center-right party, Les Republicains (called UMP at the time). At time, the party had nearly collapsed due to an intense struggle for power between party members François Fillon and Jean-François Copé.
"France demands we give it everything. I felt I had the strength to lead this battle at a troubled time in our history," Sarkozy wrote on his social media pages on Monday.
The comeback represents a potential fierce battle Sarkozy will have to face within his party. Opinion polls suggest that he is the strongest candidate but former Prime Minister Alain Juppé is probably his strongest contender.
Sarkozy feels confident that the actual president, the most unpopular president in France’s history, will not represent a major issue. However, Hollande has been preparing the ground for running himself for reelection. He has pledged tax cuts and promised to reduce unemployment by the end of this year.
Sarkozy’s discourse, which usually scathes Hollande’s policies, urges to toughen immigration, to crack down on Islamic militancy and stop the eroded secular nature of France. His speeches are about national identity and he blames the “cowardly leaders” for the loss of French culture.
In June, during a speech, Sarkozy told his supporters, "It wasn't that long ago that when we talked about immigration, identity and removing citizenship we were called fascists.”
"But minds have changed, the masses are rising, the people are standing up and they are saying louder and louder: 'That's enough!'" he added.
This emphasis on national identity amidst the state of emergency France is, might help push his cause.