99 percent of French agree: no more Chirac

12th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 11 (AFP) - Only one percent of French people want President Jacques Chirac to stand for a third term at the Elysée palace in elections due in May 2007, according to an opinion poll Sunday.

PARIS, Dec 11 (AFP) - Only one percent of French people want President Jacques Chirac to stand for a third term at the Elysée palace in elections due in May 2007, according to an opinion poll Sunday.

Asked which candidate they would like to see representing Chirac's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, 36 percent of the public chose Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and 19 percent chose Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, according to the IFOP survey for Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Some seven percent went to other figures, while 34 percent refused to nominate anyone from the party.

The findings appeared to confirm the gradual eclipsing of Chirac by a younger generation of politicians as he enters the last phase of his second term.

Sarkozy's popularity was even more pronounced among UMP supporters, who favoured him by 60 to 19 percent over Villepin. Even among UMP faithful only two percent wanted Chirac to run for a third term.

Last week Sarkozy won agreement from the UMP leadership for a change to the party's statutes so that the UMP's 200,000 members can choose a single candidate for the presidential race. The IFOP findings confirmed that he is by far the most likely nominee.

But Villepin, who is widely seen as Chirac's chosen successor, enjoys greater support among left-wing voters, who favoured him by 25 percent to 19 over Sarkozy, the poll found.

Chirac was first elected president in 1995 and re-elected in 2002.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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