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French elections: Sarkozy announces support for Macron in second round

The former president called for voters to rally round the incumbent president, who he said was ‘the only one in position to act’

An image of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2015

Nicolas Sarkozy has said that he will vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the election Pic: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that he will vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round of this year’s election. 

Read more: Who gets the vote of the ten non-qualifier French election candidates?

Mr Sarkozy, who served as president for the centre-right Les Républicains party from 2007 until 2012, did not support the party’s candidate for this election, Valérie Pécresse, saying that Mr Macron was “the only one in a position to act.”

He also stated: “I believe that [Emmanuel Macron] has the necessary experience in the face of a serious international crisis which is more complex than ever before, because his economic policy puts the value of work at the centre of all his priorities, because his commitment to Europe is clear and unambiguous.”

“A new period is beginning. It will require profound changes. It will be necessary to break with our habits and partisan reflexes. The international context and the economic situation are serious and will call for difficult and urgent decisions. 

“Loyalty to the values of the Republican right and to our government culture must drive us to respond to Emmanuel Macron’s call for unity.

“The best interests of France must be our only guide. We can never be wrong when choosing clarity and conscience.” 

Mr Macron has since thanked Mr Sarkozy for "honouring" him with his "support and trust." 

Mr Sarkozy’s fellow centre-right leader Ms Pécresse obtained just 4.8% of the vote in the first round of the election on Sunday (April 10), putting her in fifth position behind Mr Macron, Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Eric Zemmour

Read more: Macron - Le Pen in second round: How did your area of France vote?

The centre-right’s share of the vote seems to have been shrunk by a growing far-right, far-left and centre ground, with its first-round support having fallen from 20% in 2017.

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