News / Europe

France's Sarkozy Announces Candidacy for Re-election

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen in this video grab, formally declares his candidacy for a second term on France TF1 television prime time news program, February 15, 2012.
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen in this video grab, formally declares his candidacy for a second term on France TF1 television prime time news program, February 15, 2012.
Lisa Bryant

Incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced his bid for another term in office.  But analysts say Mr. Sarkozy's chances of being reelected are far from certain.

Many analysts had expected that French President Nicolas Sarkozy would wait until next month would wait until next month to make his announcement, just a few weeks before a first round of voting on April 22.

Mr. Sarkozy made the announcement on Wednesday night. In an interview on TF1 TV, Mr. Sarkozy said he was running for reelection and that he had made his decision a few weeks ago.

Mr. Sarkozy said he could not abandon his role as France's leader at a time when the country is battling an economic crisis that is affecting the rest of Europe and the world.  He likened his role to that of a captain of a boat in a storm.

Pressure had been mounting for Mr. Sarkozy to formally declare his candidacy.  His political opponents say he is misusing government funds to make what essentially are campaign speeches at public gatherings.  Mr. Sarkozy says he is doing his job by letting the French people know his positions as the country's leader.

Mr. Sarkozy faces an uphill battle to win a second term.  Public opinion surveys show him trailing his main challenger, Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande.

Mr. Hollande campaigned in the Normandy city of Rouen on Wednesday.

A Harris Interactive survey says 28 percent of people who intend to vote in the upcoming election support Mr. Hollande, compared to 24 percent who say they will vote for Mr. Sarkozy.

The French President has earned the endorsement of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  But analysts say that might not be to Mr. Sarkozy's advantage because critics complain that France is letting Germany take the lead in the eurozone policies.

Political scientist Steven Ekovich of The American University of Paris says that although only weeks remain before the election, a lot could change. "Sarkozy is a very good campaigner, we've seen that.  On the other hand, the French seem to feel a change is necessary at the same time," he said.

Mr. Sarkozy is expected to put his usual energy into his reelection bid under the slogan of a "Strong France."  He already has launched Facebook and Twitter accounts on the Internet to support his campaign.  And he is scheduled to hold his first political rally this week.

The third main presidential candidate is National Front politician Marine Le Pen.  The latest poll gives her 20 percent of likely votes.  But Ms. Le Pen has yet to obtain the necessary 500 signatures from local officials to put her on the ballot.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid