Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Je suis histoire:

PARIS, June 28, 2006 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, the target of fierce criticism in recent months, said Wednesday he had no plans to stand as a candidate in presidential elections next year.

"I have no presidential ambitions," he told a regular monthly news conference in response to a journalist's question.

Previously, 52-year-old Villepin has dodged the question even though he was widely seen as President Jacques Chirac's chosen successor.

But in recent months Villepin's popularity has plummeted as he lurched from one crisis to another, prompting Chirac to make a rare televised interview this week to voice support for his embattled prime minister.

A recent voter intention survey credited Villepin with just four percent of the ballots if he contested the elections.

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