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Reactions to the first round of the French presidential election:

``There is a dramatic state of insecurity in our country, and those responsible for it, the people have understood, are Jospin and Chirac.'' _ Far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen.

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``I call on all French men and women to gather up to defend human rights. At risk is our national cohesion, the values of the Republic.''_ President Jacques Chirac.

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``I plainly assume responsibility for this failure. ... And I draw the conclusions in withdrawing from political life after the end of the presidential election.'' _ Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

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``It's shameful for France.''_ Jean Thouard, 41, an accountant in Paris.

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``That's not possible. It's unbelievable. We were all expecting a duel between Jospin and Chirac.''_ Agathe Romon, 17, a student in Paris.

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``I am very pleased. It will finally change things. It shows that the French are tired of being taken for idiots.''_ Dominique Galles, a Le Pen supporter.