Juppe pushes Chirac down in polls
PARIS, Feb 16 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac's popularity has slipped over the past month, hit by the recent graft conviction of his right-hand man and former prime minister Alain Juppe, polls showed Monday.
The proportion of French adults who are favourable towards Chirac has dropped six points, to just 47 percent, according to a survey released Monday by the Louis Harris firm for the Liberation newspaper and conducted February 13-14.
Another poll, released by the Ipsos institute last Wednesday, showed a similar slide, of seven points to 51 percent.
If the January 30 conviction against Juppe for illegally financing Chirac’s party in the late 1980s to mid-1990s seems to have had no negative effect for the man involved, “Jacques Chirac, in contrast, seems to have been hit,” Ipsos commented on its website.
Chirac has been deeply implicated in the scandal, which goes back to the time when he was mayor of Paris, but he has thus far dodged legal scrutiny by claiming presidential immunity.
The conviction Monday of the spokesman of Chirac’s ruling UMP party for money laundering in another illegal party financing scheme threatened to drag the Chirac camp down in regional elections to take place next month.
The Louis Harris poll showed that the Chirac’s current prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, has lost another four points to 35 percent.
The result, according to its figures, suggested that the French electorate was divided on which party could best address their local problems, with a third saying the UMP and its centre-right allies, a third saying the left-wing opposition parties, and a third ticking the “other” box.
Subject: France news