Paris, Dec 12: Former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin has declared that he will stand for president in the 2012 election.
The long-time rival of President Nicolas Sarkozy recently made his announcement on French TV.
De Villepin recently set up a new political movement, United Republic (French: Republique solidaire), which contains members of Sarkozy’s governing UMP.
“I want to reunite all the French, those on the left, those on the right, and those in the center. I intend to defend a certain idea of France,” he told the TF1 channel.
According to the BBC, it is hard to see de Villepin as a serious contender as many of his former friends and allies have moved over to Sarkozy’s camp.
Moreover, he has just been named in a corruption enquiry, accused of putting pressure on a businessman not to give information to the police that might implicate one of his friends.
Meanwhile, Nadine Morano, the election chief of Sarkozy’s party, called on de Villepin to abandon his bid and “back Mr Sarkozy instead”.
Describing de Villepin as a “man on his own without financial means or a political movement”, Morano said she hoped he would not “make the mistake of causing a division in 2012″. (ANI)