Former French defense minister Herve Morin will run for president as a center-right candidate to rival President Nicolas Sarkozy, a spokesman said on Monday.
According to Jean-Marie Cavada, the spokesman for Morin’s New Center party, “He considers that the centrist project must be defended in the presidential election..and so he will be a candidate.” The announcement was made on France 2 television that raises pressure on other would-be candidates for the 2012 presidential vote to announce their bids in the coming months.
The ex-minister Morin was the defense minister in Sarkozy’s government until a reshuffle in November that saw some center-right allies of the president thrown out.
However, Sarkozy is expected to run for re-election and his Socialist rival in the 2007 presidential polls, Segolene Royal, has made an announcement she will compete for her party’s nomination to run in 2012.
Meanwhile, other presidential competitors are expected to announce their bids in the coming months, including Sarkozy’s big right-wing rival Dominique de Villepin and several other small center-right parties.
According to one of the leaders of the New Center,Jean-Christophe Lagarde, cautioned however that Morin’s candidacy was subject to party approval.