French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared live on television on Wednesday that he is running for a second term in an upcoming April-May presidential election.
The centre-right Sarkozy announced his candidacy on the TF1 channel's evening news, as Socialist challenger Francois Hollande, who is leading opinion polls, was giving the second big rally of his campaign in the northern city of Rouen.
Yes, I am candidate for the presidential election, he said.
Polls put Hollande 5-8 percentage points ahead of Sarkozy in the April 22 first round, with far-right and centrist candidates some way behind, and give the Socialist a lead of around 15 points for a May 6 runoff.
(Reporting by Daniel Flynn)