What will President Georges Pompidou do if the Gaullists win next month's parliamentary elections? According to one highly imaginative scenario that political observers in Paris are currently debating, his first step will be to sack lackluster Premier Pierre Messmer, 56, and appoint in his stead Minister of Finance Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, 47. As it happens, the suave, non-Gaullist Giscard is regarded as Pompidou's arch rival for the 1976 presidential elections. Last week he came in a close second to former Premier Jacques Chaban-Delmas in a nationwide popularity poll.

On the surface, appointing Giscard to France's No. 2 job might seem...

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