Jacques Chirac tells France he's done

PARIS, March 12 (UPI) -- Two-term French President Jacques Chirac announced his resignation from politics six weeks ahead of national elections.

In a 10-minute television address Sunday night, the 74-year-old left everyone guessing about whom he would support to succeed him in the election, a correspondent for The Guardian reported from Paris.


"At the end of my mandate, the moment will have come for me to serve you otherwise. I will not seek your backing for a new mandate," Chirac said.

Chirac has been president for 12 years and also held the post of prime minister twice. He was the mayor of Paris for 18 years and investigations into those years have resulted in some of his allies being convicted of corruption, the report said.

His speech made no reference to a successor in his ruling UMP party. The most likely person is Nicolas Sarkozy, who would face Socialist Segolene Royal and centrist Francois Bayrou in the presidential election, The Guardian said.

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