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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Nicolas Sarkozy’s non-shock presidential election candidacy announcement

Well that’s a turn up for the books.

Former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that he’s to run in the primary to choose the candidate who’ll represent the Right and Centre-Right at next year’s presidential elections in France.

Screenshot Nicolas Sarkozy Twitter

Yes, the same man who, back in 2012 assured viewers, during an interview with Jean-Jacques Bourdin on BFMTV, that he would “retire from politics” if he lost that year’s presidential elections, has joined 14 other hopefuls - a decision which surprises absolutely nobody.

Archive 2012 - Quand Sarkozy assurait qu'il... par BFMTV

The announcement was the kind of political non-event which pretty much sums up politics in general in this country, and the tradition whereby those defeated in earlier elections, along with disgraced politicians, attempt a comeback.

You know, “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose”. Or in the case of French politics, the same old faces keep popping up all the time.

Take a look at just a few of those on the list for the primary.

Ex prime minister Alain Juppé who has made his way back from a criminal conviction for abuse of public funds to become the man most likely to be able to beat Sarkozy.

Jean-François Copé, the former president of the Centre Right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (Union for a popular movement, (which under Sarkozy’s second stint as chairman renamed itself Les Republicans) who was forced to resign from that post following the Bygmalion invoices scandal (about which he knew nothing of course).

François Fillon - another former prime minister (under Sarkozy). Squeaky clean (in French political terms although there was that “storm in a teacup” scandal in 2014 when he reportedly encouraged one of François Hollande’s closest advisers at the Elysée Palace, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, to “accelerate” judicial proceedings against Sarkozy) but rather…er…dull.

Nadine Morano - no criminal convictions - but plenty of - let’s be polite - “barmy” Tweets (she’s an adept at Social Media) and controversial statements (such as France being  “a Judeo-Christian country, of white race")

Then there’s…

No, to list all of them would increase the yawn factor inexorably. And besides, with Sarkozy’s entry into the race, some will more than likely drop out.

Ah yes - that entry. Long expected and accompanied by a book (of course) “Tout pour la France” in which he outlines his “ideas” for the future of this country, and a scheduled appearance on prime time TV news.

Sarkozy has his work cut out. He might well be popular among his supporters (pretty much a foregone conclusion as it would be disastrous if he weren’t) but, if those never-ending opinion polls are to be believed, among the general population he’s unpopular and a majority have said they would not like to see him stand.

Oh well, too late now.

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