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Der Standard - Austria | Monday, December 1, 2014

New UMP chairman strengthens Front National

Nicolas Sarkozy's election as the leader of the conservative main opposition party the UMP could potentially strengthen the far-right Front National party if, as expected, Sarkozy becomes the UMP's presidential candidate in 2017: "Sarkozy is indeed no longer the right man for the Elysée: quite apart from the fact that he deeply polarised the nation as president from 2007 to 2012 but changed little in a country that so urgently needs reform. Why should he perform any better the second time around? ... Sarkozy hardly has any supporters outside his party. So if he runs for president the big winner will be above all right-wing extremist Marine Le Pen. She implicitly presented herself as the 'original' compared to Sarkozy, the 'copy', at her party conference on Sunday. It's almost as if the French conservatives didn't just get a new party leader with Sarkozy, but also a huge mortgage."

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