French politics

De Villepin, the hussar

Dominique De Villepin, the former minister for Foreign Affairs and Jacques Chirac Prime minister officially announced his candidacy for the coming French presidential election, last Sunday. This candidacy provoked many reactions, within the UMP – the current ruling party – mainly in which its main leaders ask to the former Elysée General Secretary to give up.

Many people bet on a non-candidacy of De Villepin, this one having hardly any troops and representatives, most of them reintegrated the Sarkozy’s ruling government. What is more, the relationships between the two men seemed to be more peaceful, the former head of Government having decided to forgive Nicolas Sarkozy.

But crash! De Villepin is running and many people are now wondering on the legitimacy of his candidacy, in the right essentially.

Indeed, although the Dominique de Villepin’s participation is legitimistic, the former French minister knows very well he won’t be the next French president even if he hopes axing his campaign on his notoriety, his seriousness and a some “idée de la France” (vision of France, what is to say, a Gaullist vision). He will maybe get 5% of the polls (in an optimistic point of view) but finally, he should get 2 or 3% at the end.

The ex-Prime has not really the choice and has to defend his point of view, standing for the presidential election. Indeed, he kept criticizing the current President of the French Republic during the largest part of his mandate and would like to enjoy the coming campaign in order to square up with a man who promised to hang him on a hook butcher. Moreover, a De Villepin candidacy is also an opportunity for people voting for the right but they don’t support Nicolas Sarkozy anymore and are not ready to vote for a left candidate.

The De Villepin candidacy will be the first for him, a real baptism of fire for a man who has never stand for an election, even a local one, so far. A detail which would have been problematic for the former Prime minister but which motivated him to run especially vis-à-vis Nicolas Sarkozy who fiercely insisted on his lack of experience, to humiliate him more.

But, it’s sure! The truce will have been short. Very short!