Sarkozy to announce re-election bid
Paris - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will announce his bid for
re-election on Wednesday, setting the stage for what he hopes will be a
dramatic comeback against his Socialist rival, sources in his office said.
With only 10 weeks before the first round of the presidential vote on April
22, right-wing Sarkozy is lagging in the polls, struggling with image problems
and burdened with a moribund economy.
But his team is confident that once officially in the race Sarkozy, a
seasoned and charismatic campaigner, will be able to quickly make up ground on
frontrunner Francois Hollande.
Elysee sources said he will officially confirm his candidacy on TF1
television in its news show on Wednesday evening and will announce that Ecology
Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet will be his campaign spokesperson.
Sarkozy has been laying the groundwork for his run in the last several weeks
- portraying himself as a defender of traditional values and a steady hand in
dealing with the European economic crisis.
In an interview with Le Figaro last week, he made clear he will be pushing a
conservative social agenda, vowing to oppose gay marriage and euthanasia and to
But his efforts so far have not translated into a boost in opinion polls.
An IFOP survey published on Tuesday found Hollande down by one percentage
point but still well ahead with 30% support and Sarkozy trailing with 25.5% -
up 0.5% - in the first round.