Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has dropped his pledge to repeal marriage equality.

The Socialist government of Francois Hollande approved legislation legalizing marriage and adoption for gay and lesbian couples in 2013.

French daily Le Figaro last week published excerpts from Sarkozy's new book, La France Pour La Vie, in which he says that he has “evolved” on the issue of repeal.

“I do not wish to legislate it again, because the priority should be to bring the French people together,” Sarkozy is quoted as writing. “This is a point upon which, I assume, I have evolved.”

At a 2014 candidates debate in Paris organized by the conservative movement Common Sense, Sarkozy told the crowd that the law “should be rewritten from the ground up.” The audience chanted “Repeal! Repeal!” to which the former president responded: “If you prefer that I say repeal the law … it comes down to the same thing.”

“Upon reflection,” Sarkozy wrote in his book, “I fear that, given the state of tension and division in French society brought about because of Francois Hollande's methods, the cure is worse than the disease.”

La Manif Pour Tous, the nation's largest group dedicated to undermining France's same-sex marriage law, sharply criticized Sarkozy's comments, saying that he had “abandoned his convictions.”

Sarkozy is expected to challenge Hollande in next year's presidential election.