French politicians distance themselves from Chirac

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In the wake of Jacques Chirac's announcement that he will not seek re-election, French politicians have taken the opportunity to distance themselves from him.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the frontrunner to succeed Jacques Chirac, said that he "never felt like anybody's heir" and that "France is the republic, it is not something you inherit."

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who was also considered a potential candidate, has endorsed Sarkozy. Villepin and Sarkozy are members of the same party, but fell out years ago.

Meanwhile, right-wing leader Jean-Marie Le Pen said Mr. Chirac left France in a 'catastrophic state.' "I think Jacques Chirac was the worst president of the republic in the history of France. With him I lose my worst enemy and I'm delighted," he said.