Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to run in 2017 presidential election

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will run for next year's presidential election, it has been announced.

Mr Sarkózy, 61, lost the 2012 election to the current President Francois Hollande.

Writing on his Facebook page on Monday ahead of the publication of a book called 'Everything for France', Mr Sarkozy said: "I have decided to be a candidate for the 2017 presidential election.

"I felt I had the strength to lead this battle at a troubled time in our history."

Francois Hollande has endured a tough time in office, with France attacked many times by Islamist extremists. Credit: Reuters

The two-time former interior minister has been critical of Francois Hollande's security record, urging France to get tough on immigration, crack down on suspected Islamist extremists and halt the erosion of France's secular identity.

Mr Sarkozy credits himself with steering Europe through its worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression during his 2007-2012 term.

But his abrasive manner did not go down well with many voters, and his weak performance on free-market reforms to revive the economy disappointed business leaders.