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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid