French President Nicolas Sarkozy, facing slackening polls ahead of the 2012 re-election, reappointed his old friend and new rival François Fillon, the country’s prime minister, as part of naming a new, more conservative French cabinet, The New York Times reports.
France’s Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry, the charismatic daughter of former European Commission President Jacques Delors, and far-right veteran Jean-Marie Le Pen could challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the country’s leadership, the article said.
“Mr. Sarkozy won in 2007 by uniting the right around him. He is known to be worried now about a growing level of support for the National Front to his right, which could damage his 2012 re-election prospects if the opposition Socialists united around a credible presidential candidate.”