Monday 19 March 2018

John Lichfield: Sarkozy's exit leaves party on verge of civil war

John Lichfield

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy may have withdrawn from politics following his failed re-election attempt, but arguments over his legacy are threatening to tear apart his centre-right party.

Battle lines are being drawn to seize the leadership -- and the soul -- of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) at the party congress later this year, after Mr Sarkozy's ultra-nationalist re-election strategy was repudiated by his own campaign spokeswoman and by two former centre-right prime ministers.

A meeting of party chieftains in Paris yesterday refused demands from several former ministers for an official post-mortem on Mr Sarkozy's campaign and presidency.

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