Trouble in the Ranks

JACQUES BRINON/AP

SURVIVOR Chirac, here at a WW II memorial, faces opposition from inside his own party

As names go, "union for a presidential Majority" was too baldly utilitarian for the fractious alliance of conservative parties cobbled together to secure President Jacques Chirac's victory in the May 2002 election. But when the party later opted to keep the initials — ump — but change the name to Union for a Popular Movement, the idea certainly wasn't to launch a popular movement against the President himself. Lately, however, it's beginning to seem that way.

Ever since the French right was slaughtered in March 28 regional elections, frustration within the ump has been deep — and its...

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