Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chirac Wants to Run Again Says Telegraph

It seems scarcely believeable but the Sunday Telegraph carries a report today suggesting that Jacques Chirac is considering running for a third term as President de la Republique. He's 73 but seriously believes that his country still needs him. I am by no means an expert on French politics but I find it hard to think of a single thing he could rightly call an achievement during his tenure.

The press is getting carried away by Sego-mania following the selection of Segolene Royal as the Socialist Party candidate. Most commentators are relishing a Sego-Sarko contest on the assumption that Nicolas Sarkozy becomes the UMP candidate. Indeed, it is the antipathy towards Sarkozy by many centrists within the UMP that is the main driving force behind a further Chirac candidacy. None of the other putative candidates (de Villepinnor Michele Alliot-Marie) are strong enough to beat Sarkozy.

Royal and Sarkozy are each at 50% in the polls, so this could be one of the most gripping Presidential elections in any country for years.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iain,

I can think of 2 achievements of Chirac's tenure:

1. Agreeing to hold a referendum on the European Constitution.
2. Running the country so incompetently that he was defeated in the referendum vote.

Peter Hitchens said...

More likely he wants to continue to enjoy the Presidential privilege of not getting his greasy garlic stinking collar felt.
As soon as he is out of office Monsieur Le ex president will have to answer some searching question regarding a lot of missing cash.

Johnny Norfolk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Croydonian said...

Peter hits the nail on the head. French politicians have careers that go on for decades, in part because of ego, in part because of the perks and in part because of legal immunity.

While Sarko may well have ruffled Gaullist feathers, he is still an insider, if not an Enarque. Count on the right establishment rallying to him, 'as at least he's a man'.

Anonymous said...

I would agree, probably for the only time in my life, with Peter Hitchens (why do I want to be sick now and feel slightly dirty ?)

I would imagine that being immune to prosecution is the biggest reason for his change of mind.

Lagwolf said...

Yep, he wants to continue covering his arse that is for sure. Anyone want to guess who well Le Pen's lot are going to do this time round?

Anonymous said...

Nobody should be allowed a third term, as at this point the politician concerned loses a grip on reality, gains a coterie of fawning yes persons and believes L'etat C'est moi

Chuck Unsworth said...

Chirac should run again.

He's got much bigger tits than Royal or Sarkozy - possibly combined.

And his real USP is that at 73 he's not likely to last much longer...

Anonymous said...

Yeah must be about a lack of prosecution. It can't be his competence or ideological vision.

Koolio said...

Asking him about his views and policies, the BBC's Paris correspondent John Sopel asked Chirac "What do you stand for?". The fluent-English speaking Chirac replied "I stand for election!" This just about sums it up. Still, I wouldn't believe the story, he is just floating the idea and would be buried in a vote, Sarkozy controls the UMP party now anyway. But apparently a judge has booked courtroom space for May 2007 to try a certain "X" whose name, on court documents, happens to be Jacques Chirac.

As much as it's easy to blame Chirac for being a spineless git who's done nothing to reform France for the challenges ahead, he's only been the mirror image of a population that's comfortably well off and can't be arsed to swallow the bitter tasting medicine of market reform, even if this will make them better off in the long run. In the short run those who enjoy 35 weeks, cast-iron job security and union perks are hardly going to vote for an end to their reign.

As another Frenchman said, "people get the government they deserve", the French have a sleazy swindler who won't reform the country. And Britain has a showy, shallow fantasist...

MorrisOx said...

Iain,

whoever launched the 'Chirac to run again story' should hang their head in shame.

It is a dud.

verity said...

It is imperative that Chirac runs again. Otherwise, he will be arrested, and a lot faster than they are arresting Tony Blair on our side of the Channel. Of course, they've had many more years to investigate.

It was his mate M Trichet, and some other good mates, who embezzled from Credit Lyonais 33bn - yes bn - euros. You don't do that with fake credit cards. Chirac is a good buddy of the gang.

The only thing I can think of for Chirac, as I blogged over on Croydonian a couple of weeks ago is, he has to be pretending to go on a political visit to another country - not Metropolitan France or the EU or, uh, practically anywhere, really - that doesn't have an extradition treaty with France. And then simply never return from his official visit to that country.

Croydonian thought Quebec would be a nice little retirement set-up for him, and it would, but I'm sure Canada has extradition treaties. My own feeling is, Morocco or Tunisia, both Francophone and close enough to get things Fedexed from Paris within five or six hours.

However, the most likely outcome will be, if Sarko gets in, he'll issue a notional blanket pardon tout de suite - just in case.

Praguetory said...

Despite the French media's best attempts Sarko will annihilate Royal's vacuous pitch. I suspect that it will get so bad for her, that she will be disowned before polling day by her fair-weathered friends. I'm looking forward to it.

Croydonian said...

Recalling Verity's original thoughts, the mutual suck up job between Sarko and the President of Algeria makes a more and more sense.

Resistor said...

'I find it hard to think of a single thing he could rightly call an achievement during his tenure'

Apart from keeping France out of the Iraq war?

Chris A said...

he said that he wanted to reduced the annual carnage on French roads and he's been very successful at that.

Pascal said...

Its a bit rich to have Brits criticizing Chirac, when all you can show is Blair who is a lot worse.

It all stems from an interview with his wife who said that nothing is decided yet. Everybody knows that since his anti-Sarkozy weapon is now a dud (Villepin), and MAM was stuffed by Sarkozy some time ago with the rules for candidacy. She would eat Royal for breakfast, because the latter has only her looks going for her. She really is vacuous.

As for the Sarko-Royal face off for the election, which is what the media want and have been promoting for some time now, it might well be spoiled by the 80yrs old Le Pen in the 1st round...

Anonymous said...

I heard that Le Pen was polling around the 24% level - maybe it will be Sarko vs. Le Pen when the wheels fall off Royal...

Paul Linford said...

Surely a story waiting to happen -Chirac hates Sarkozy doesn't he?

Anonymous said...

This post has been copied word for word by a Malta Labour Party Deputy Mayor (Aaron Farrugia) on his blog, without giving you any credit.

Check it out:

http://webaaron.blogspot.com/2006/11/chirac-wants-to-run-again.html

That's Malta's Labour Party!