Chapter 1: Toward Normal Politics
Toward Normal Politics
French voters went to the polls four times during the spring of 2002. First, two rounds of voting, on April 21 and May 5, led to the reelection of Jacques Chirac (1932-). Then, in June, another two rounds of voting were needed to choose a new National Assembly, the all-important lower house of parliament.1
The results of the elections shocked almost everyone. Despite all the pundits’ predictions, the far right-wing (and some would say racist) Jean-Marie Le Pen (1928-) nosed out the incumbent Socialist prime minister, Lionel Jospin (1937-) for second place and a spot in the runoff against Chirac.
On June 9 and 16, legislative elections were held. The newly formed Union for a Presidential Majority (UPM) won a landslide victory ...