Chirac Fires First Shots in Re-Election Campaign

By Lichfield, John | The Independent (London, England), February 12, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Chirac Fires First Shots in Re-Election Campaign

Lichfield, John, The Independent (London, England)

PRESIDENT JACQUES Chirac tore up his preferred script for an aloof and brief re-election campaign yesterday and declared - one month earlier than expected - that he would again stand this spring.

Shaken by a slide in the opinion polls and the airing of financial scandals from his past, the 69-year-old President announced he would fight his fourth successive presidential election campaign, equalling the record of his former rival, the late Francois Mitterrand.

On a visit to Avignon, Mr Chirac told supporters that he would be a candidate in the two-round election on 21 April and 5 May. "Yes, I am a candidate," he said. "I believe in France, and I know and love the people of France. I believe that, putting aside ideologies and prejudices and dogma, and through dialogue, we can lead France to victory together."

The invited audience of 100 burst into applause and sang the "Marseillaise". There was no surprise in Mr Chirac's decision to run in the election, but he had intended to remained cocooned in his presidential dignity until mid-March, at least. He had wanted to run a brief but sonorous campaign, overwhelming his presumed chief rival, the Socialist Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin.

The President has been forced into the open by a slide in the polls and the desertion of some centre-right supporters to a mischief-making campaign run by the leftist nationalist Jean-Pierre Chevenement.

Mr Chirac has also been wounded by renewed press speculation over financial scandals in his past, precipitated by the return to France last week of Didier Schuller, a former senior official of his RPR party, who fled to the Caribbean during the last presidential campaign in 1995. Although the President appealed for a dignified and serene campaign, his early leap on to the hustings might signal the start of one of the nastier electoral battles in recent French history.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Chirac Fires First Shots in Re-Election Campaign


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?