Giscard elected to Academie Francaise

11th December 2003, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 11 (AFP) - The former French president Valery Giscard D'Estaing was elected Thursday as a member of the Academie Francaise, the elite cultural institution whose main task is to compile the official French dictionary.

PARIS, Dec 11 (AFP) - The former French president Valery Giscard D'Estaing was elected Thursday as a member of the Academie Francaise, the elite cultural institution whose main task is to compile the official French dictionary.

Giscard d'Estaing was chosen to take the place of Leopold-Sedar Senghor, the poet-president of Senegal who died in 2001.

His election to the 40-member club came despite a campaign by some existing members who questioned Giscard D'Estaing's literary merit.

The former president won 19 votes for to eight against. "It was an easy election," said an official at the Academie Francaise.

He becomes the fifth French president to sit in the Academie, but the first to be chosen as a member after the end of his term in office.

The Academie was founded in 1635 by Cardinal de Richelieu and is currently at the letter "R" of its ninth edition of the dictionary. There are three woman members, and two seats now remain vacant.

 © AFP

                                                                Subject: France news

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