Is Nicolas Sarkozy France’s next President? The man himself certainly hopes so and believes he will be. That possibility is set to move a little closer later today at a special UMP Congress. In what is expected to be an American-style convention, Sarkozy will be adopted by the ruling mainstream right-wing as their candidate for the Spring poll.
He is no stranger to the razzmatazz of politics – it is something Sarkozy admires and relished when in 2004 he was elected party leader. But this son of a Hungarian immigrant, with his criticism of French social immobility and an arrogant foreign policy, has alienated some old guard conservatives and the out-going president.
It was all so different in 1981 when Sarkozy began as campaign worker FOR Jaques Chirac. But his ambition, obvious from the start has created jealousies and rivalries which today have caused internal rifts within his own party. As France’s Interior Minister he has seen off his challengers for the candidacy including the Prime Minister, but if key party figures are still reluctant to endorse him, Sarkozy is in no doubt he will be picked for the forthcoming presidential fight.