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Chirac drops further in polls

PARIS, Feb 21 (AFP) – French President Jacques Chirac’s popularity has slipped over the past month, in the wake of the recent graft conviction of his right-hand man and former prime minister Alain Juppe, according to a new poll Saturday.

 Only 47 percent of French adults questioned said they thought he was doing a good job, down from 53 percent last month, according to the poll by the IFOP Institute for the daily Journal du Dimanche.

Those who disapprove of his stewardship were up six points to 51 percent, while those who were very satisfied were down four points to four percent and those rather satisfied down two points to 43 percent.

A survey released Monday by the Louis Harris firm for the Liberation newspaper and conducted February 13-14 also found that Chirac’s standing was down six points, to 47 percent.

Another poll, released by the Ipsos institute last week, showed a similar slide, of seven points to 51 percent.

Political analysts say Chirac appears to have been hurt by the January 30 conviction against Juppe for illegally financing Chirac’s party in the late 1980s to mid-1990s.

Chirac was deeply implicated in the scandal, which goes back to the time when he was mayor of Paris, but he has so dodged legal scrutiny by claiming presidential immunity.

The various polls also show some slippage, albeit more limited, for Chirac’s current prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin.


                                                              Subject: France news