In what could have been a dreadful day for Nicolas Sarkozy, everything seemed to turn out right. On the eve of his nomination, Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who was considering an independent candidacy, announced that she will not run but instead support Sarkozy.
"I engage on the sides of Nicolas Sarkozy, I give my support to him and I want to help him to be able to gather, not only in our political family but beyond."
This announcement came after an afternoon meeting between the two leaders, in which Alliot-Marie presumably informed Sarkozy of her decision. According to her, this turnaround was made in order to avoid the "socialists risk...with the risk of rising extremism." Sarkozy will now be hoping that this last minute move of unity will be able to overcome the increasing cracks on the right during the past few weeks. This reversal may also destroy the dreams of a Mr. Jacques Chirac, who, it was speculated, wished Alliot-Marie to run in order to thwart Sarkozy.
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