French President Jacques Chirac has announced he is to step down from frontline politics when his current mandate ends on May 17th. In a live address to the French nation from the Elysee Palace the 74-year-old said: “I am not going to ask for a new mandate, but I will continue to serve in other ways. The battle we share, my life’s work, the fight for peace, progress, justice and French influence in the world will continue.” He added “France rejects extremism, racism, anti-Semitism, we respect the individual. In our history we have seen the damage extremism does, it divides, it perverts, it is poison.”
Chirac bows out after 12-years as president.