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A composed and bespectacled Jean Sarkozy announced during a television interview that he would no longer seek to head the agency that managed one of Europe’s most important business districts. He said he did not want his election tainted by suspicions of nepotism. He will seek an administrative role instead.
The 23-year-old said he came to the decision on his own, after enduring what he called a campaign of "misinformation." Before deciding on the position, he said, he listened to the opinions of voters, reflected and also discussed the matter with his father, President Nicolas Sarkozy.
"If the question you are asking me is: Did you speak to the president, no. Have I have spoken with my father, yes," the younger Sarkozy told France 2's David Pujadas. "He is like every father and I am like every son. And of course, in difficult moments, we talk."
The second-year law student said he was not a collector of titles and did not launch the campaign for money. His only motivation in seeking the chairmanship of the La Defense business district, he said, was to serve.
His candidacy sparked a huge outcry from political rivals and many French citizens, who cited Jean Sarkozy's age and lack of professional experience among the reasons for opposing his pursuit of the chairmanship.