Sarkozy tests comeback water on Carla Bruni concert tour
Is former French president Nicolas Sarkozy planning a comeback? His appearance, on Thursday with his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, for the first concert of her tour, drew a roars applause and seems to put him back in the picture for the 2017 presidential elections.
Arriving two hours before his wife's concert in the central French city of Lyon, a smiling Sarkozy shook hands with supporters and signed autographs.
Some fans even screamed "Come back Nicolas!" and waved a banner bearing his campaign slogan from the unsuccessful 2012 election campaign "La France forte" (Strong France).
French political gossip says that Sarkozy is testing his popularity by accompanying his wife on her tour, which will take her to a number of French towns and cities before she jets on to Vienna, Berlin and New York.
On Thursday night Sarkozy also met the right-wing UMP party's candidate for mayor of Lyon, Michel Havard, in March's local council elections before attending Carla's concert.
On Wednesday France’s 80-year-old former first lady, Bernadette Chirac, let slip that Sarkozy could make a political comeback, as the former president reactivated an Instagram account to post a photograph of himself.
"I hope so,” she told Europe 1 radio, adding that he was the only right-winger with the stature for the post.
Former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leaves her concert, followed by her husband, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.Reuters/Robert Pratta
Since his defeat in the 2012 elections, Sarkozy has made sure he wasn't forgotten by the French people, organising regular appearances at Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s concerts.
Last week he offered support to the flood-hit Var region.