Conservative Former French Pres With Supermodel Wife Running For Reelection

REUTERS/Henry Romero

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is married to model and singer Carla Bruni, announced Monday he is running for presidential reelection in 2017.

The leader of the center-right Les Républicains — or the The Republicans, in reference to the French Republic, which he had renamed in May 2015 — hopes to win his party’s nomination in November for the 2017 general election.

Sarkozy was previously France’s leader from 2007 to 2012, until he lost his reelection bid to President Francois Hollande of the French Socialist Party.

Since his May 2012 defeat, Sarkozy has maintained a low profile, up until he mounted a campaign in September 2014 to become the leader of his then-Union for a Popular Movement (known as UMP) Party, which he won with 64.5 percent of the party’s vote in November of that year.

The 61-year-old is known outside of politics for his marriage to Bruni.

Bruni, 48, has previously been linked to rockers Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, and even allegedly dated Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to a New York Post report from June 1991.

Despite her interests and successes in the arts, Bruni may be a shrewd political operative as well. Hollande has reportedly insinuated that Bruni is to blame for photos that were published in January 2014, making public his relationship with French actress Julie Gayet. Hollande’s suspicions of his rival’s spouse stem from the scandalous photos coming from “the agency of a photographer close to Carla Bruni,” according to The Times.

Sarkozy will need all the help he can get after having been out of the French political limelight for years. In the wake of the many terrorist attacks that France has faced recently, if Sarkozy wins his party’s nomination in November, he is expected to duke it out with far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen MEP, for votes and support regarding security concerns against Islamic extremism.

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