Last week, Sarkozy had announced that he would seek the leadership of the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, according to the reports.

The development came after the suspension on Wednesday of a case against Sarkozy about an alleged attempt to influence judges who were looking into his affairs.

Sarkozy denies all allegations against him."My dear friends, it is a long walk that we are starting in the service of France," Sarkozy said.

"I have had time to think about what we did, and to you the people of France, I wanted to say thank you." He intends to contest the 2017 presidential election.

Sarkozy served as the 23rd president of France from May 16, 2007 till May 15, 2012.

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