Sarkozy to run for second term: UMP
French President Nicolas Sarkozy Tuesday told lawmakers of his UMP party that he wants to serve "for two terms," with the next presidential election in 2012, party members at the meeting told AFP.
"Me, you know, I am here for two terms, not more. After that it will be 'la dolce vita,'" Sarkozy told a group of lawmakers at the Elysee presidential palace, according to several participants.
Since revisions to the constitution in 2008, a president is limited to two consecutive terms.
Sarkozy was elected to his first five-year term in 2005 and has not yet formally announced whether he will seek re-election, saying he would decide late autumn of next year.
But at the Elysee late Tuesday before about 30 UMP senators and deputies he was apparently reflecting on the future.
"If some haven't yet understood, it is more than clear now. He is definitely a candidate in 2012," one participant told AFP.
"There is another life after the Elysee. In our political family, there are plenty of talents that need to come to life," Sarkozy said, according to such participants as UMP party leader Jean-Francois Cope, European Affairs Minister Laurent Wauquiez and others.
"I am not here to cut off heads, I am very happy that there are talents. And when the moment comes (the 2017 election), may the best one win!," said the 55-year-old leader of the centre-right UMP party.
Sarkozy's chances of winning of the next election have dimmed as his popularity with French voters has sunk over opposition to his economic and pension reforms.
His comments come one day after his rival in the last election, Socialist Segolene Royal, announced that she will seek her party's nomination in primaries next year to take on Sarkozy once again.
Sarkozy apparently commented about the opposition Socialists that "it isn't enough to be a candidate, you also have to stand for something."
© 2010 AFP