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Sarkozy to announce candidacy for 2012 presidential election in March

(Xinhua)

10:00, January 18, 2012

PARIS, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy would present in March his candidacy to extend 5-year-mandate at the Elysee Palace, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said Tuesday.

In an interview with the local broadcaster Europe1, the minister said Sarkozy was expected to officialize his candidacy for the presidential election scheduled in April in two months.

"(The candidacy) is something worth considering. He is guiding France and proposing remedies for our country," Gueant added.

"I think it would be reasonable for him to present a bid in early March, as it is often considered," he noted.

The 57-year-old head of state came to power in 2007 after seizing a lead over the socialist Segolene Royal with 53 percent of the vote.

Facing tough criticism, Sarkozy was in tight corner after disappointing job data and downgrade of France's trip-A debt rating make it hard to regain citizens' confidence and garner enough votes to secure his place at the Elysee.

According to Ifob survey, he would win 25 percent of vote in the first round behind the socialist candidate Francois Hollande expected to lead the vote with 28.5 percent.

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