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World

Ex-French President Sarkozy To Run For Presidency In 2017

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Concern over terror and security is shaping presidential elections, both here in the United States and also in France. And like here, long-familiar faces are competing in next year's vote, including a former president. From Paris, Jake Cigainero reports.

JAKE CIGAINERO, BYLINE: French media are calling the announcement the end of the false suspense. In his new book entitled "Tout Por La France," everything for France, released this week, former President Nicolas Sarkozy writes, I have decided to be candidate for the presidential election in 2017. France demands that we give it everything. I felt that I had the strength to lead this fight in such a tormented time of our history.

Sarkozy has long been hinting that he would run.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NICOLAS SARKOZY: (Speaking French).

CIGAINERO: "I will assemble a new team," he said in this speech last year, "and promise to listen to everyone for what is needed for a better France." Sarkozy lost his 2012 bid for re-election to current Socialist President Francois Hollande, who is now facing record-low popularity ratings. As leader of the center-right Republicans of France, Sarkozy has been an outspoken critic of Hollande. Brice Teinturier is with the the French polling institute.

BRICE TEINTURIER: (Speaking French).

CIGAINERO: "His campaign could just be a repeat of his 2011 campaign," he says, "about identity and immigration issues, which undeniably worry the French. If that's it, he will only perpetuate the Nicolas Sarkozy the French know." For both Hollande's Socialists and Sarkozy's Republicans, the shared enemy is certain - Marine Le Pen's ultra-conservative, extreme right National Front, which after recent terror attacks in France is only gaining in popularity. For NPR News, I'm Jake Cigainero in Paris. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.