Jacques Is Running

photo: resto le mondetour, bar, club

Near Les Halles, all the Mondétour lacks is being
open in the afternoon.

While Lionel Waits for 10 Days

Paris:- *LATE* Report:- Tuesday, 12. February 2002:- With 67 whole days left to go until the first round of the national election for Président of France, current Président Jacques Chirac announced his candidature yesterday in Avignon.

The announcement came as no great surprise, although there is a 'tradition' in France to have short official campaigns - as opposed to the unofficial non-stop campaigns that are a way of political life here.

With the Président now in the race along with about a dozen other candidates from the entire political rainbow of red to black, this leaves only current Prime Minister Lionel Jospin left to toss his rose-colored Socialist hat into a crowded ring.

He has already almost said he will do this when the current session of parliament wraps up its business on Friday, 22. February.

France's first presidential election by universal suffrage was in 1965 when Charles Dephoto: wine shop tchin tchin Gaulle was re-elected. Today's Le Parisien doesn't tell me how presidents were elected before this.

Choosing when to declare a candidacy is a decision of byzantine complexity, according to the press - which would seem to prefer a long campaign.

Get your Saint-Valentine's wine here before it is too late.

While candidates without much chance of surviving the first round of voting declare their intentions early, the big hats have their strategies finely honed to extract the maximum impact - which ends up making everything pretty much even.

After weeks of speculation - not about 'if' Jacques Chirac will run again, but about when he will say so - today's Le Parisien still runs an on- the-street mini-survey to ask, 'Were you surprised by the announcement?'

Five out of five voters picked out randomly all reply, 'no.' Some said he was a candidate anyway and one other said he had been campaigning 'for seven years.'

Actually, Jacques Chirac has been campaigning for the office of Président of France for 21 years - since Tuesday, 3. February 1981, when he came out against Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the sitting Président, and François Mitterrand.

As sitting Prime Minister at the time, he announced his intentions again on Saturday, 16. January 1988. He got ahead of Raymond Barre in the first round on 24. April but lost to François Mitterrand in the second, on Sunday, 8. May.

In 1994 Jacques Chirac announced his candidacy very early and squeaked into the second round on 23. April 1995 with a lead over his right-wing competitors. Then he went on to win 52.6 percent of the vote in the second-round runoff against Lionel Jospin on 7. May.

Although this was before 'Metropole Paris' began publication in February of 1996, I did reports for 'The Paris Pages,' which included witnessing Président Chirac's delirious election night victory tour of Paris and the following solemn ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.

With the announcement arriving from a RPR confab in Avignon around noon yesterday, the news was celebratedphoto: traction headlight by the RPR's faction at Paris' Hôtel de Ville. City party leader Philippe Séguin had taken the precaution of putting Champagne on ice early, and the joy was so vast that a bottle of Petrossian's cherry vodka went down too.

No Rétromobile week is complete without some part of a 'Traction' in it.

Left-wing 'green' candidate Noël Mamière characterized the announcement as a 'non-event' and extreme-left candidate Arlette Laguiller said it 'ended a fake-suspense,' adding that now voters will hear all the promises that won't be kept.

What the ultra-right-wing's Jean-Marie Le Pen is quoted as having said might be libelous, as well as rude. Basically he is angry because Jacques Chirac will not admit he has ever met him.

While France waits for the Socialist's Lionel Jospin to declare his intentions, the country can attend campaign meetings organized for Jean-Pierre Chèvenement, who is positioning himself as a moderately left-wing capital 'R' republican and is currently picking up in the polls - which seems to be an elusive goal for all of the right-wing's pretenders to be the 'third man.'

This mystery person has been created by the political calculation that the mainstream right-wing is stained by a cascade of corruption affairs, and that Chirac and Jospin will cancel each other out - leaving the way clear for a 'third man' to save the day. So far there have been several self-declared versions of this consensus candidate.


Continued on page 2...
Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini