Disgraced former PM Juppe poised for comeback

29th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, Aug 28, 2006 (AFP) - France's disgraced former prime minister Alain Juppé, banned from office for illegal party funding, appeared set on Monday to make a comeback as mayor of the south-western city of Bordeaux.

BORDEAUX, France, Aug 28, 2006 (AFP) - France's disgraced former prime minister Alain Juppé, banned from office for illegal party funding, appeared set on Monday to make a comeback as mayor of the south-western city of Bordeaux.

Juppé was forced to step down from the mayorship of Bordeaux, his last elected post, in December 2004 after an appeal court convicted him over the secret financing of President Jacques Chirac's RPR party in the early 1990s.

Shamed by a 14-month suspended jail term and a year's disqualification from elected office, Juppé left for Canada, spending a year teaching in Montreal in what was seen as a self-imposed exile from French politics.

The former prime minister — who returned to the city this summer but has yet to declare his intentions — is to hold a press conference on Tuesday.

On Monday, Bordeaux's entire centre-right city council resigned, paving the way for early elections to allow Juppé to resume his post.

"The entire group decided to resign from the city council and we call on Alain Juppe to lead our list" in an early election, said Bordeaux mayor Hugues Martin, of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

Twice elected mayor of Bordeaux — a traditional centre-right stronghold — Juppé's popularity was boosted by the renovation of much of the historic centre, the development of the Garonne riverfront and the introduction of the tramway, all of which he oversaw.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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