Sarkozy Supporters Keen For Comeback As He Attempts To Help UMP Party

Category: World / Jul 08, 2013 4:19PM EDT

French former President Nicolas Sarkozy made his first political appearance since losing power on Monday (July 8), staging an appeal to hundreds of conservative lawmakers to help save his UMP party from financial ruin.

Sarkozy, who was greeted by supporters outside UMP headquarters, called for donations to prop up the party after France's top legal body ruled on Friday that it overshot spending limits on his 2012 re-election campaign and must repay 11 million euros in state subsidies.

While Sarkozy denied the meeting marked the start of his political comeback, the former president has hinted heavily that he is mulling a re-election bid for 2017 and opinion polls show more than half of UMP supporters want him to do so.

Many on the right see Sarkozy as the only person who can reunite a party that fractured into two feuding camps, one with a hardline stance on immigration and the other more moderate, in the wake of his May 2012 defeat to Socialist Francois Hollande.

Video Credit: Reuters