Nicolas Sarkozy's former spokeswoman is seeking to take over the party that the former French president led prior to his defeat in the recent election.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet joins Jean-Francois Cope and Francois Fillon in the battle for the leadership of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP party).

Cope is the party’s general-secretary, while Fillon was the Prime Minister under Sarkozy.

Other potential candidates include Bruno Le Maire, former Agriculture Minister, or Xavier Bertrand, former minister of Labour.

Kosciusko-Morizet, who is only 39, also served as Sarkozy's former Environment Minister. She needs 8,000 signatures to make her candidacy viable, a task she described as “not easy but not impossible.”