French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed Wednesday evening that he will stand for re-election.
Sarkozy appeared on French television channel to formally announce his decision to join the race.
While there were no doubts that the incumbent Sarkozy would seek re-election, Wednesday's announcement was the first official notice from the President himself.
The first round of France's two-round presidential election system is on April 22.
I took this decision because France, Europe and the world have for the last three years seen a series of unprecedented crises, which means that not seeking a new mandate from the French people would be abandoning my duties, Sarkozy said.
Can you imagine the captain of a ship in the heart of a storm saying: I'm tired, I'm giving up, I'm stopping?' I have things to say to the French people, I have proposals to make to them.
However, Sarkozy faces a serious uphill climb in remaining at the Elysee Palace.
The President's disapproval rating is around 68 percent, and he consistently trails Socialist candidate Francois Hollande in nationwide polls.
The script has been written: the incumbent candidate will promise new things. He will try to turn his weaknesses into strengths. He has been wrong for five years and now he calls that experience, Hollande said during a televised campaign event in Rouen, airing just prior to Sarkozy's announcement.
A Harris poll published on Wednesday predicts that Hollande will win the first round by 28 percent to 24 percent and the run-off round on May 6 by 57 percent to 43 percent, the BBC reports.
The only other candidate that may make a showing in the upcoming elections is Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front of whom 20 percent of voters favor, the BBC reported.
Yet Sarkozy hopes to win over voters with his charismatic campaigning style and by pointing to his ability to lead France, and Europe, out of the Euro zone crisis.
Sarkozy is telling voters that, if elected, he will increase citizen participation in reform by referendum, and that he will cut unemployment.
What sort of campaign will I run? I will try to tell the truth. To ask the right questions and to offer strong ideas and say to the French 'choose now', he declared.
The central idea of my program is to give power back to the French people via the referendum.
Sarkozy is scheduled to deliver a speech about the specifics of his platform on Sunday in the southern city of Marseille.