PARIS (AFP) - Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy Friday announced his return to politics in a statement on his Facebook page, vowing to offer a "new political choice" to disenchanted French voters.
"I am a candidate to be president of my political family," the conservative UMP party, said Sarkozy, putting an end to months of speculation that he would return to the political scene.
"After a lengthy period of reflexion, I have decided to offer the French people a new political choice," he said in his Facebook statement.
He said he could not "remain a spectator given the situation in which France finds itself, given the destruction of political debate and the persistance of the derisory splits within the opposition."
"I love France too much: I am too impassioned by public debate and the future of my countrymen to see them forced to choose between the desperate situation of today and the prospect of isolation without a way out," added the 59-year-old.