French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has been backed by the former president Nicolas Sarkozy over his own bid for the presidency.
Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012, is set to release a new volume of his biography in which he weighs in on current French politics.
The book, Le Temps des Combats (The Time of Battles), delves into Sarkozy’s tenure from 2009 to 2011 at the Élysée Palace seat of government and in it he discloses his firm endorsement of Darmanin’s potential as a successor to current French President Emmanuel Macron in the 2027 general elections.
Sarkozy commends Darmanin, stating: “The facts have consistently proved him right. Could he take the ultimate step, leading to the presidency of the Republic? I genuinely hope so, as his evident qualities speak for themselves.”
Darmanin is depicted by Sarkozy as a shining star on the political horizon, deeming him one of the “most promising fortysomethings” in French politics.
The endorsement will be regarded as a major boost by Darmanin, who is openly rallying his political troops in anticipation of 2027.
He announced his interest in running for the top job in Le Figaro and is clear about his political ambitions.
Alongside that, the minister is also holding a conference of many centrist French politicians at the end of August to discuss a future political platform, which will focus more on social issues and in particular what he sees as the hardship of the French working-class.
The former president’s endorsement of Darmanin comes as no surprise given Sarkozy’s history of nurturing what he sees as political talent. With his extensive experience and insights into the inner workings of French politics, observers say that his backing could influence the dynamics of the 2027 elections.
Sarkozy has little praise for Macron, citing recent social unrest where he dismisses the current president’s claim that the country-wide riots were unforeseeable, saying: “I who had to manage the 2005 riots … The crisis of authority has deep roots.”
He also warns about what he says is the risk of the police becoming ineffective and unable to carry out their duties, while expressing support for law enforcement.
In the book, Sarkozy distances himself from other political figures, criticising another former president François Hollande for undermining French nuclear capabilities and taking issue with Macron’s “Algerian bias”.
He asserts that Macron’s attempts at forging an “artificial” friendship with Algerian leaders is counterproductive, given their tendency to blame France for numerous problems.
As Le Temps des Combats prepares to hit the shelves, his support of Darmanin looks likely to make waves. Sarkozy’s uncensored assessment of political figures, including his critique of other notable figures, further adds to the intrigue.
The book’s launch on August 22 promises to offer readers a captivating exploration of Sarkozy’s reflections on his time at the Élysée Palace, alongside his predictions and preferences for the future of French leadership.