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Chirac: Ready to 'Serve France in Different Way'
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French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday for the first time strongly hinted in a televised interview that he shall not be seeking a third term, and that he is ready "to serve France in a different way" after 12 years at Presidential Palace Elysee.

"I have always tried to be of service to the French people, and to the idea that I have had for France. If one day when I will no longer have responsibilities of this nature, well, I will try to serve France and the French people in another way," declared Chirac in France 2 television interview "Vivement dimanche" anchored by Michel Drucker to be broadcast on Sunday.

"There is, without doubt, life after politics, until death," added Chirac, 74, who has been a fixture in French politics for more than 40 years.

"I will miss this residence (palace Elysee) greatly, but I will get used to it. We must accept what destiny has decided," said French first lady Bernadette Chirac during the same program.

These remarks were made public by the French presidency after extracts of the interview recorded 15 days ago appeared in the French daily Le Parisien on Thursday.

Chirac has up to now persistently refused to comment on his intentions to run on a third term, only maintaining that he will make the decision known in the first half of this year.

To most observers, the "window" for Chirac's formal announcement could open after the next congress meeting of parliamentary at Versailles, most likely on Feb. 19, where he is expected to make the announcement.

(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2007)

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