President Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy had a baby girl, Europe 1 radio reported, in the first birth for a French incumbent head of state since Empress Eugenie had Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte 155 years ago.
The birth is the first ever for a French president in office. A duty officer at the Elysee Palace, the president’s official residence, couldn’t comment on reports of the birth.
The couple’s first baby was born at a Paris hospital late yesterday, according to the radio station. The child is the fourth for the president, who has three sons from two previous marriages. Carla Bruni, 43, has a son by an earlier relationship.
Sarkozy was in Frankfurt yesterday evening to meet with Euro-area leaders to seek to narrow divisions four days before a summit to solve the sovereign debt crisis. The president, elected in May 2007 for a five-year mandate, has yet to say if he’ll seek a second term next year.
“I won’t be on the campaign trail,” Bruni-Sarkozy told Madame Figaro in an interview Sept. 29. “I will be taking care of the baby!”
With the latest addition to his family, Sarkozy joins British Prime Minister David Cameron, who became the father of Florence Rose Endellion three months into his mandate last year, and Tony and Cherie Blair, who had their fourth child, Leo, in 2000, three years into his first term as the British PM.
Sarkozy, 56, has three sons, Pierre, 26, and Jean, 25, from his first marriage to Marie-Dominique Culioli. Louis, 14, is the son he had with Cecilia Attias, whom he divorced in December 2007. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has a 10-year-old son named Aurelien with French philosopher Raphael Enthoven.
Carla Bruni, a successful 1990s model who turned singer in the 2000s, had expressed a wish to have a child with Sarkozy. In a Vanity Fair magazine interview two years ago she said “I hope to, if I am young enough. It would be a dream.”
In a December state visit to India, she reportedly told a Muslim cleric at Fatehpur Sikri, the Mogul emperors’ city, that she was “praying for a son.”
Sarkozy’s popularity fell this month to close to its record low. In March, polls showed that he was the least popular French leader since World War II. All surveys in the past four months have shown that he’d lose the presidential election to the Socialist Party’s candidate Francois Hollande.
Sarkozy would lose to his Socialist rival Hollande in the elections next year, according to a poll published yesterday. Hollande would win 62 percent and Sarkozy 38 percent in a run- off, said the poll by CSA for BFM TV and RMC radio. It was the first poll since the Socialist primary on Oct. 16.
In the election’s first round, Hollande would take 35 percent, Sarkozy 25 percent, anti-immigrant campaigner Marine Le Pen 16 percent and centrist Francois Bayrou 9 percent, the poll showed. Under the French system, a run-off is held if no candidate wins a majority in the first round.
France holds presidential elections next May. The poll surveyed 1,010 people on Oct. 17. No margin of error was given.
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