Former French president Sarkozy announces new bid for old seat
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Former French president Sarkozy announces new bid for old seat

Ousted leader writes in forward to new book he has 'the force to wage this battle at tormented time of history'

Former French president  Nicolas Sarkozy giving a speech during the LR National Council in Paris, February 13, 2016. (AFP/LIONEL BONAVENTURE)
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy giving a speech during the LR National Council in Paris, February 13, 2016. (AFP/LIONEL BONAVENTURE)

PARIS — France’s former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy formally announced Monday he is running for the presidency again in next year’s elections.

In an extract of a book released on his Facebook page, Sarkozy wrote: “I have decided to be a candidate to the 2017 presidential election.”

He added: “I’ve felt I had the force to wage this battle at a so tormented time of history.”

Sarkozy, 61, is expected to lead a campaign based on hardline ideas on immigration and security in a country marked by recent terror attacks.

He listed five major challenges for France, which included defending French identity, restoring lost competitiveness and enforcing state authority.

Sarkozy also posted a link to the extract on his Twitter account.

“The next five years will be filled with danger but also with hope,” wrote the 61-year-old conservative, who had made no secret of his ambition to return to the top job.

He must first win the primaries organized by the French right in November where he’ll face competition from former prime minister Alain Juppe, favorite in the polls.

Sarkozy lost the presidential election to Francois Hollande in 2012 after his first term.

The announcement of his bid to secure the nomination of his opposition Republicans at a party primary in November comes in the midst of an impassioned debate over the place of Islam in French society.

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