Sarkozy hints hard at re-election bid: interview

3rd May 2011, Comments 0 comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave his clearest hint yet that he will run for a second term in next year's election, saying reports to that effect were "valid", in comments published Tuesday.

Responding to comments by one of his ministers that Sarkozy's aim of a second term was an "open secret", the president described the source, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, as "a credible man who says valid things".

In the comments quoted in Wednesday's edition of L'Express magazine, he did not explicitly announce his plan to run, but no other serious contender from his right-wing UMP party has yet stepped up.

Sarkozy's approval rating has been languishing at around 30 percent for months.

In the 2012 election he is likely to face challenges from Socialist Francois Hollande and far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen. The top-polling Socialist candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn is also widely expected to run.

Polls indicate that all three are on course to defeat him in the first round.

© 2011 AFP

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