Confirming the worst-kept secret in French politics, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has confirmed he will seek the presidential nomination of his ruling UMP party. In an interview that was leaked on the website of daily newspaper Liberation, Sarkozy said “his answer was yes”, when asked if he would run for president next spring.
He will face stiff competition from Socialist candidate Segolene Royal. Polls show them neck-and-neck but a recent surge by far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen means neither is assured of a place in the May 6 run-off. Spoken of as another possible, Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie has until the end of the year to say whether she will run against Sarkozy.