Nicolas Sarkozy A bulimic of politics grappling with justice

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, tried from Monday in the so-called “eavesdropping” affair, is a political bulimic who has remained a reference for the right-wing convalescent and spared by the current occupant of the Elysee Palace, Emmanuel Macron. “I love my country” and “everything I have done in my life is to be loved by the French”, said on November 13 the former head of state (2007-2012) in a long interview on the television channel BFM TV where he hammered it: “I am not a rotten”. Even before the opening of his trial, the former lawyer found himself on the front of the judicial scene in October, with his indictment for “criminal association” in the case of the alleged Libyan financing of his campaign. presidential of 2007. “Machination”, “relentlessness” … The right was united around him. For his party The Republicans, “the calendar leaves little doubt about the political springs of this affair”.

The one the French nicknamed “Sarko” and whose presidency was marked by a hard line on security and immigration had nevertheless sworn that we “would never hear from him”, after a humiliating defeat in 2012 against the Socialist Francois Hollande. His legal quarrels, his media marriage with the ex-Franco-Italian model Carla Bruni have given this prediction a lie, as has his still strong popularity on the right of the chessboard. Despite his defeat without appeal in the first round of the primary of the right of 2016, his evocation in the meetings of his party The Republicans continues to trigger thunderous applause. His books are selling like hot cakes. This “little half-blooded Frenchman” (Hungarian father, Greek Jewish maternal grandfather) – according to his expression in the victorious campaign of 2007 – was only 28 when he succeeded in taking over the town hall in 1983. from Neuilly-surSeine, near Paris.

Endowed with a communicative enthusiasm, a verbal ardor linked to a jerky gesture, Mr. Sarkozy had, throughout his political career (mayor, deputy, minister, party president, head of state), the gift of being loved by some as much as by others. A time excluded from the game on the right, he again becomes essential for the re-election of Jacques Chirac to the presidential election of 2002, before challenging the latter, from the ranks of the government as very popular Minister of the Interior, and to open the doors of the Elysée from his first attempt in 2007. “President bling-bling” without self-control for some, deserving manager of the financial crisis of 2008 for others, he will be the first president since Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1974-1981 ) to be beaten by seeking a second term in 2012. But the fratricidal struggles on the right opened the way to a first return. From 2013, he can measure his rating with the militants of his party: a “Sarkothon” allows to garner 11 million euros to compensate for the invalidation of his campaign accounts by the Constitutional Council. “Me, I have a special bond with the French. He can stretch himself, he can tighten himself, but he exists ”, affirmed in 2013 this short and sporty man,“ addict ”- the word is his – to cycling and jogging, father with Carla Bruni of a little girl, after having three children from two previous marriages.

In a party seeking a leader for the 2022 presidential election, some dream of his return. Even if Mr. Sarkozy assured him on BFM TV: “I have turned the page” and “I am very happy like that”. “It can be a last resort, even if it remains very divisive”, recently underlined a deputy. “If he has a mouse hole, Sarkozy will go” to the presidential election, said another, while worrying about his relations with the current head of state: “the deposit + Sarko + is used by Macron for his electorate ”. Emmanuel Macron indeed displays a cordial understanding with Nicolas Sarkozy, of whom several relatives – such as Prime Minister Jean Castex or Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin – hold strategic government positions. “I have always tried to make myself indispensable wherever I was,” said the former president in his latest book “Le Temps des tempêtes”. Storms which “are in my nature and constitute my identity”. After the “tapping” trial, another judicial whirlwind looms in March with the Bygmalion trial (on the 2012 presidential campaign accounts) for Nicolas Sarkozy

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