Campaign Probe May Hobble Sarkozy’s 2017 Presidential Bid

Photo via World Economic Forum / Moritz Hager

With only nine months before the primaries begin for the 2017 elections in France, former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been formally placed under investigation for possible improprieties regarding his funding for the 2012 election.

Sarkozy faces a probe over “suspected illegal financing of an election campaign for a candidate, who went beyond the legal limit for electoral spending.” France, proving once again that they deserve at least one electoral vote in U.S. elections, has instituted a €22.5 million cap on campaign funding.

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Thierry Herzog, Sarkozy’s lawyer, intends to appeal the decision to investigate his client and told reporters that the investigation has nothing to do with Bygmalion, a public relations firm under suspicion of using a complex systems of false accounting procedures to hide campaign money during Sarkozy’s 2012 bid. The lawyer said that the investigation was only in regards to exceeding the limit in spending.

Sarkozy is currently having a tough enough time becoming Les Républicains’ nominee for the 2017 presidential election—not that he’s declared his candidacy outright yet—with four party members currently saying they’ll stand in the primaries: Bruno Le Maire, Jean-François Cope, and two former prime minsters, Alain Juppe and François Fillon.

Les Républicains are starting to look more and more like the Republicans.