Jacques Chirac, who presided over France from 1995 to 2007, died Thursday morning at the age of 86, his family said.
“President Jacques Chirac died this morning among his family. Peacefully, “said Frédéric Salat-Baroux, husband of Claude Chirac, the daughter of the former president.
Victim of a stroke in September 2005, Jacques Chirac was very weak in recent years.
He was President of the Republic for 12 years, from 1995 to 2007, after winning the presidential election against the Socialist Lionel Jospin and then against Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front.
He was also twice prime minister: under the chairmanship of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1974-1976), then of the socialist François Mitterand (1986-1988).
President Emmanuel Macron will speak at 2:00 pm (EDT).
On Twitter, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, MP for Marseille and leader of La France rebellious, said that “The History of France turns a page. Let’s get sad, because she has her reasons. He loved France better than others since. And for that part, we are grateful to him.”
As for Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (formerly National Front), she notes that “despite all the differences that we could have with Jacques Chirac, he was a great lover of the Overseas and the able president to oppose the madness of the war in Iraq, reconnecting with the traditional position of balance and diplomacy of France.”
Flagship moments and setbacks
Under his presidency, France adhered to the European currency and abolished military service. Jacques Chirac also opposed the invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003. “He was very courageous and very firm on this,” says Mr. Charest.
During a speech at the Vélodrome d’hiver in 1995, the former president recognized for the first time the responsibility of the French state in the deportation of Jews from France to Nazi camps, especially during the roundup of the Vél ‘ of winter in 1942.
The page Chiraquienne turns in 2007, when he brings “naturally” his support to Nicolas Sarkozy, a man he does not yet in his heart. Five years later, he will declare himself in favor of the candidacy of the Socialist Francois Hollande against Mr Sarkozy.
Moreover, Jacques Chirac has never hidden his sympathies for the Quebec sovereignty movement. When he had just been elected mayor of Paris, he welcomed the Minister of Government Affairs of the PQ government, Claude Morin.
You have my sincere and fraternal wishes for complete success. It is with heart and mind that we wish you the success of your quiet independence business that you have defined as part of an indispensable economic association in this modern world.
Jacques Chirac, while he was mayor of Paris
After his withdrawal from the political scene, the scandals caught up with him. In 2011, he was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for giving jobs of convenience to the City of Paris when he was mayor of the capital.
Despite everything, he remained one of the favorite political figures of the French.
Figure from the French right, he was a member of the Union of Democrats for the Republic (UDR) before founding the Rally for the Republic (RPR) in 1976. This party, claiming Gaullism, was subsequently absorbed by the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) in 2002.
Like all heads of state, he was a member of the Constitutional Council, which decides on the conformity of laws with the Constitution, until 2010.