SUCH GOOD FRIENDS

FRONT RUNNER BALLADUR THROWS HIS HAT INTO THE RING BUT FACES A BITTER STRUGGLE WITH A FORMER ALLY

Edouard Balladur had left nothing to chance. Everything, from the flowers on his desk to the conspicuously placed photos of his grandchildren, was calculated to project the image of a national father figure. Though there was little suspense--his intentions had long been clear--Balladur's nationally televised address was the biggest political event of the new year. It marked the Gaullist Prime Minister's official entry into a presidential race that could make him the successor to Socialist Francois Mitterrand next May. Speaking from his gilded office, Balladur, 65, promised to run a ``positive, serene and optimistic'' campaign.

Serene? Not if Jacques Chirac can...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!