World: A Caretaker Who Cares

HIS lease on the Elysée Palace runs only 35 days, and his mandate is hardly precise. He is empowered to organize new elections for the presidency of France, and he must get along with the government of Premier Maurice Couve de Murville until De Gaulle's elected successor is chosen. Yet Alain Poher, a rotund, 60-year-old moderate and veteran of a lifetime in French politics, undertook his duties as interim President of France last week with a sure sense of purpose and resolve that surprised and annoyed the Gaullists.

Almost his first act was to...

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