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Chirac notes extremism while stepping aside

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Jacques Chirac called on France to fight racism and anti-Semitism as he announced he will not run for a third presidential mandate in April’s elections. Chirac, 74, has been president since 1995.

In his speech on French television Sunday night, Chirac called on his
fellow citizens to continue fighting extremism, racism and anti-Semitism. “It is a poison,” Chirac said. “It divides, it perverts, it
destroys. Everything that is the soul of France says no to
extremism.”

Chirac, who observers said was taking a swipe at right-wing Jean Marie Le Pen, did not express support for party member and candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, the interior minister.

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