Controversial Former Defense Minister Re-Elected to Parliament
PARIS (AP) _ Jean-Pierre Chevenement, who quit as defense minister to protest France’s role in the Persian Gulf War, narrowly won re-election to his parliamentary seat, according to final results made public today.
Chevenement, who prompted Sunday’s special election by resigning in January, received 52 percent of the 22,853 votes in the Belfort district, compared to 48 percent for his conservative opponent, Jean Rosselot.
Chevenement, a member of the left wing of the governing Socialist Party who had longtime ties to Iraq, had urged greater efforts to avoid war and contended that French policy was too subservient to the United States.
Prime Minister Edith Cresson and Culture Minister Jack Lang campaigned personally on Chevenement’s behalf.
In a radio interview today, Chevenement said he had hoped to get more votes, but that his victory demonstrates ″a politician can take risks for the sake of his ideas and not be abandoned by his electorate.″
Local elections were held Sunday in a few French municipalities. In one race for a council seat in the Paris suburb of Poissy, a candidate of the far- right National Front surged to a strong 37 percent showing.
The National Front’s Gerard Lattinier had received 22 percent of the votes in a preliminary round. His stronger showing in the second round followed recent unrest in nearby low-income suburbs where many North African immigrants live. The National Front advocates the deportation of these immigrants.
Gilles Foray of the Rally for the Republic, a mainstream conservative party, won the council seat in Poissy.