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Chirac, Jacques

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


(1932-), President of France (1995–2007), and Prime Minister (1974–6, 1986–8). Born in Paris to middle-class parents, Chirac received a bourgeois education, and served in the army and civil service before entering politics in 1967 as a Gaullist (see de gaulle ) junior minister under pompidou . He then held a series of portfolios, before supporting giscard d'estaing in the 1974 elections. Chirac was rewarded with the premiership, but in 1976 he resigned – the first prime minister of the fifth republic to do so of his own volition, though it is likely he would have been pushed by Giscard, who recognized a presidential rival. To prepare for the Elysée, Chirac relaunched the Gaullist party as the Rassemblement pour la République, and in 1977 became the first elected mayor of Paris. In 1981 he failed to oust Giscard as the right's principal presidential challenger to mitterrand . However, following left-wing losses in the 1986 general elections, the latter had to appoint him as premier. This was the regime's first experience of cohabitation between a president from one party and a prime minister from another. Chirac was outmanoeuvred by Mitterrand, who was re-elected in 1988 and removed him from the premiership. Even so, Chirac retained a vital political base through the mayoralty of Paris. He eventually achieved presidential office in 1995. Never an ideologue, he promoted his ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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