FORMER French President Jacques Chirac – whose political career was blighted by scandals – has died aged 86.
His son-in-law Frederic Salat Baroux confirmed the news, saying he had gone through a period of ill health, without initially offering any more details.
Jacques Chirac died after being admitted to hospital, say his family[/caption]
“President Jacques Chirac died this morning surrounded by his family, peacefully,” his son-in-law told AFP.
He had been admitted to hospital at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris for a pulmonary infection in 2010, December 2015 and September 2016.
Mr Chirac was president for a full 12 years, from 1995 until 2007, and also served as France’s prime minister from 1974 until 1976, and from 1986 until 1988.
He is best known internationally for opposing the War in Iraq in 2003, and for standing up for the French language.
On 15 December 2011, the Paris court declared Chirac guilty of diverting public funds and abusing public confidence, and gave him a two-year suspended prison sentence.
Mr Chirac was president for a full 12 years, from 1995 until 2007[/caption]
He was nicknamed ‘Le Bulldozer’ early in his career for his determination[/caption]
Chirac was long the standard-bearer of France’s conservative right, and mayor of Paris for nearly two decades.
He was nicknamed “Le Bulldozer” early in his career for his determination and ambition.
As president he was a consummate global diplomat but failed to reform the economy or defuse tensions between police and minority youths that exploded into riots across France in 2005.
Born to well-off parents in Paris,he was the last French president to have direct experience of combat and it left him both a fan of military strategy and cautious about war.
He was a figure in French political life from the early 1960s, starting as an adviser to the prime minister George Pompidou, becoming an MP in rural Corrèze and then a minister.
Before he finally became president in 1995, he founded a political party, the Gaullist Rally for the Republic, served twice as prime minister and failed twice at a presidential election.
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