PARIS (Reuters) - A former top aide to Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday he would run against him in the conservative party's primaries for the 2017 presidential election, further weakening Sarkozy's own bid.
Henri Guaino, who wrote many of Sarkozy's key speeches when he was president in 2007-2012 and was one of his closest advisers, backs a statist economic policy that is absent from the increasingly large field of candidates for Les Republicains (LR) party's November primaries.
"I am tired of that single world view, of austerity policies," Guaino, who is an LR lawmaker, told France Inter radio.
While Guaino has little chance of getting his party's ticket, for which former prime minister Alain Juppe is currently the front runner, the candidacy of such a close former aide highlights Sarkozy's struggle in keeping a grip on his party.
At least 10 other candidates are also eyeing the party's ticket for the presidential election.
- All of these celebrities have had their nudes leaked 35 Pictures
- Here's what it's like to fish for your dinner at Zauo NYC (photos) 21 Pictures
- PHOTOS: The best cosplay of NYCC 2018, Day 3 44 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Looking back at Heidi Klum's best Halloween costumes 19 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Nightmare Machine, the haunted house for millennials 14 Pictures
- American Music Awards 2018: Red carpet looks, list of winners 23 Pictures
- What you need to know about MTV's 'How Far Is Tattoo Far?' 9 Pictures
- Who is Alexander Edwards, Amber Rose's new boyfriend? 9 Pictures
- Are Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian getting back together? 8 Pictures
- Anne Frank's Diary now comes as a graphic novel 3 Pictures
- Reimagine End of Life celebrates all things death and dying 5 Pictures
Sarkozy has still not officially announced his candidacy but no one doubts he plans to throw his hat in the ring. He tried to boost his ratings among grassroots LR sympathizers last week by reviving one of his most divisive mantras, that of France's need to defend its national identity.
Guaino said that he would try and run in the presidential election anyway even if he does not win the party's primaries.
(Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Simon Carraud; Editing by Richard Lough)