Senior official at France's UMP conservative party acknowledges 'anomalies' in the funding of Nicolas Sarkozy's failed 2012 election campaign, hours after a lawyer accused the party of ordering fake invoices at the time - @Reuters
French police search offices of the opposition UMP party after the lawyer for an event organizer accused it of ordering fake invoices during Nicolas Sarkozy's failed 2012 election campaign, a source close to the investigation says - @Reuters
Nicolas Sarkozy (French: [ni.kɔ.la saʁ.kɔ.zi]; born Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa; 28 January 1955) is a French politician who served as the President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 16 May 2007 until 15 May 2012.
Before his presidency, he was the leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party. During Jacques Chirac's second presidential term he served as Minister of the Interior in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's (UMP) first two governments (from May 2002 to March 2004), then was appointed Minister of Finances in Raffarin's last government (March 2004 to May 2005) and again Minister of the Interior in Dominique de Villepin's government (2005–2007). Sarkozy was also president of the General council of the Hauts-de-Seine department from 2004 to 2007 and mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of France, from 1983 to 2002. He was Minister of the Budget in the government of Édouard Balladur (RPR, predecessor of the UMP) during François Mitterrand's last term.
In foreign affairs, Sarkozy promised a strengthening of the entente cordiale with the United Kingdom and closer cooperation with the United States. During his term, he faced the late-2000s financial crisis (followed by the recession and the debt crisis caused by it) and the Arab Spring (especially in Tunisia, Libya, and Syria). He married Italian-French singer-songwriter Carla Bruni on 2 February 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
In the 2012 election, the Socialist François Hollande defeated Sarkozy by a margin of 3.2 percentage points, or 1,139,983 votes. After leaving the Presidential office, Sarkozy vowed to retire from public life. However, in September 2014, he announced his return to politics, and the UMP party (since renamed The Republicans) has subsequently reelected him as its leader. On 2 July 2014, Sarkozy was charged with corruption by French prosecutors.