Disgraced Juppe makes comeback as mayor

9th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, Oct 9, 2006 (AFP) - A disgraced French former conservative prime minister, Alain Juppé, was Monday enjoying his political comeback after winning a weekend election to regain a job as mayor of Bordeaux.

BORDEAUX, France, Oct 9, 2006 (AFP) - A disgraced French former conservative prime minister, Alain Juppé, was Monday enjoying his political comeback after winning a weekend election to regain a job as mayor of Bordeaux.

The municipal election Sunday marked Juppe's return following the expiry of a ban on holding public office imposed on him in 2004, when he was convicted of illegal funding of President Jacques Chirac's RPR party in the early 1990s.

Juppé, 61, won 56 percent of the votes in the southwest city after the incumbent mayor, also of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement, stepped down for him.

A close friend and confidant of Chirac, Juppé has already said he plans to seek a parliamentary seat in elections due mid-2007.

A former senior civil servant and foreign minister, Juppé became prime minister in 1995, and immediately championed deep welfare reforms that ultimately foundered on mass public protests that paralysed France.

Chirac's decision to hold early elections in 1997 saw Juppé's government defeated and the Socialists take power.

Juppe was subsequently tried and found guilty in January 2004 of using Paris City Hall funds to illegally finance the salaries of RPR staff.

The conviction, which included a suspended jail term, originally disqualified him from public office for 10 years, but he had that cut to 14 months on appeal in December 2004.

Following the appeal, he resigned as Bordeaux's mayor — a post he had held for nine years — and lived for a year to Montreal, Canada, where he took up a university lecturer's position, before returning to France.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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