Ex-French PM Villepin announces new party

Villepin says he wants a France that "defends its difference and originality" and keeps solid social protections while remaining competitive.

Ex-French PM Villepin announces new party

Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced the creation of a new centre-right party on Thursday to take on President Nicolas Sarkozy in elections in two years' time.

He formed the party Thursday, after leftists resoundingly beat Sarkozy's UMP conservative party in regional elections last weekend, leaving the president increasingly isolated.

"I have decided to create a new political movement that will be free and independent," Villepin told a news conference, adding that the party will be launched in Paris on June 19.

Villepin, an aristocratic former diplomat, said he was uncomfortable with Sarkozy's policies and that his movement would advocate a more social, equitable approach.

"The motto of our struggle will be a republic of solidarity," he said.

Villepin says he wants a France that "defends its difference and originality" and keeps solid social protections while remaining competitive. He says he is ill at ease with current government policies including efforts to ban Islamic face veils.

Villepin, the author of numerous works on Napoleon, served as prime minister under former President Jacques Chirac and had a tense relationship with Sarkozy, who served as his interior minister.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Mart 2010, 15:03

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