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On July 4, the Constitutional Council rejected accounts of Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign spending for the 2012 presidential election — a decision that will cost the ex-president’s UMP party €11m.

Nicolas Sarkozy responded by resigning from the Constitutional Council — of which, as a former head of state, he is a member by right — so as to “speak freely” on the matter. With a move that appears to be the first step in a return to politics, “war has been declared,” remarks Le Parisien. The newspaper continues —

For Nicolas Sarkozy, the first president of the French Republic to have his accounts rejected by the Constitutional Council, the situation is clear: someone is attempting to destroy him. Someone wants his hide! But who? ‘François Hollande of course,’ clamours the chorus of Sarkozy supporters. [...] Shocked by the news, they are deploring a ‘political decision’ to prevent the return of their champion.