Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy announces bid for 2017 race

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced on social media on Monday that he will be running for the presidency again in next year’s presidential elections.

Sarkozy, 61, announced the news on his Facebook page and Twitter account, releasing an excerpt from his upcoming book, “Tout pour la France.”

“I have decided to be a candidate in the 2017 presidential election. France demands that you give her your all. I feel I have the strength to lead the fight at such a turbulent moment in our history,” Sarkozy wrote.

His aides told French news agency AFP that he will be stepping down as party leader of The Republicans in order to focus on his presidential campaign. Sarkozy will seek his party’s nomination in the primaries, which will be held in November.

Sarkozy will be facing opponents Alain Juppe, the former prime minister under President Jacques Chirac, who is currently seen as the favorite in the polls, as well as Francois Fillon, the former prime minister under Sarkozy, and Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front.

Sarkozy was elected as president in 2007 and lost his bid for a second term to current president Francois Hollande in 2012. Hollande, whose approval rating has continued to fall during his presidency, is also eligible to run for a second term but has not yet announced whether he will.

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