Chirac likely to seek third term, says minister

8th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 8 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac will probably run for a third term in 2007 if he believes his conservative ruling party is too divided, Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said in an interview published Wednesday by Le Figaro newspaper.

PARIS, Dec 8 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac will probably run for a third term in 2007 if he believes his conservative ruling party is too divided, Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said in an interview published Wednesday by Le Figaro newspaper.

"I don't know his intentions," she said, but "my personal feeling is that he will do so if that is the solution to avoid divisions on the right tipping France once again into the directionless meanderings seen under the left."

Developments on the international scene "will also be decisive," said the minister, who is reputed to be close to Chirac.

"If our country is respected everywhere today, it's all thanks to Jacques Chirac."

Chirac, 72, has not said whether he will seek a third mandate in 2007, but if he leaves office he could be exposed to corruption investigations he has thus far avoided by claiming presidential immunity.

A conservative rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, 49, last month took over Chirac's ruling Union for a Popular Movement party - a key step to him realising his stated ambition to take over the French presidency.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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