Sarkozy eyes funds for his cash-strapped UMP

Sarkozy eyes funds for his cash-strapped UMP

PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy appealed July 5 for funds for his cash-strapped UMP party after his poll expenses from last year’s campaign were rejected, making him lose out on a 10 million euro reimbursement.

Sarkozy resigned from the Constitutional Council on July 4 after it upheld the poll watchdog’s decision that he had filed expenses of nearly 23 million euros, which exceeded the spending ceiling by 2.1 percent.

“All political formations have been reimbursed by the state with the exception of UMP,” Sarkozy said in a message on Facebook. “This unprecedented situation in the Fifth Republic threatens the formation that must prepare the really necessary alternative to socialism,” he said, urging people to donate to his right-wing party.

The Constitutional Council’s decision means that Sarkozy, who lost to Socialist François Hollande, is not eligible for the reimbursement of 47.5 percent of total campaign spending he was due under election financing laws. He will also need to return 150,000 euros advanced by the state for the campaign.

Sarkozy has been implicated in a series of campaign funding scandals allegedly involving Liliane Bettencourt, France’s richest woman, and former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.