France's Sarkozy to launch presidential election campaign

By REUTERS
February 15, 2012 12:57

 
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PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will appear on television news on Wednesday evening, where he is expected to formally declare his candidacy for a second term.

The center-right president, who badly lags Socialist challenger Francois Hollande in opinion polls, launched his Twitter feed with the news that he had accepted an invitation to appear on TF1's evening news at 1900 GMT.

With the long-awaited announcement, Sarkozy will formally enter the race, although his opponents say he has been campaigning for months.

He is expected to flesh out his campaign platform in a speech to an audience of several thousand in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille on Sunday.

"Now the real campaign starts," French Foreign Minister and close Sarkozy ally Alain Juppe told France Info radio on Wednesday. "We will have the real debate and see the weaknesses of the Socialist candidate."

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