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
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2007)