France Shades of Le Grand Charles

As Chirac grabs the race's No. 2 spot, a Gaullist ghost hovers

Blessed with incumbency and lack of a serious challenge from the left, Socialist President Francois Mitterrand, 71, easily captured the front runner's spot in this year's French presidential campaign. The real contest leading up to the first round of voting on April 24 was between his two conservative opponents, Premier Jacques Chirac and former Premier Raymond Barre, who were running neck and neck in the polls as recently as February. This week the campaign moves into its final phase, during which the release of new voter surveys is forbidden. The biggest news in the flurry of last-minute polls was not that...

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