"I refuse the burkini on the beaches of France and in the pools of France, I wholeheartedly support the mayors of both right and left, who, to preserve public order, have banned it," Sarkozy said on Thursday, as quoted by Europe1 radio, adding "I demand a prohibition law on the entire territory of the Republic."
In fragments of an interview with the Figaro magazine, to be published on Friday, Sarozy, who announced on Monday that he would run for president, called the burkini "a political act" and "a provocation."
Earlier on Thursday, French President Francois Hollande urged the French nation not to give in to provocations and to avoid stigmatization with regard to the issue of burkinis, amid heated discussions over municipal bans on the Muslim swimwear in parts of the country.
The Conseil d'Etat, France's highest administrative court, is expected to make a ruling on Friday on the matter following a request by the French Human Rights League to cancel the burkini bans.
Earlier this summer, burkinis were banned from municipal beaches in 15 French towns, including Nice that suffered from a deadly terrorist attack in July, which was reportedly carried out by a radicalized Muslim.