De Villepin's career was torpedoed by Sarkozy during the last presidency when he was prime Minister.<quoted text>
Not sure de Villepin was ever a serious contender here.
The system could be different of course, but there is no need for a complot theory here
Sarkozy managed to eliminate his biggest rival in the UMP and Chirac's designated heir.
I think De Villepin would have made a better President than Sarkozy, that's my opinion. Now, he is a 'spoiler', just like Raymond Barre was at some point. He really should retire for good.
I don't know about 'complot', but chronic injustice certainly. In England, we have the expression "fair play", which doesn't translate in French. You must know that!
Anyhow, I wouldn't give much of Sarko's chances of being reelected, and I fear France is going to dive deeper in socialism and state intervention under Hollande. Bah, c'est la vie!