The French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, has presented the resignation of his government to outgoing President Jacques Chirac, on the eve of the handover of power to Nicolas Sarkozy. Chirac will address the nation this evening to bid his last goodbye to the French people after 12 years as their president.
Tomorrow will be Nicolas Sarkozy’s day when the 52-year-old achieves his declared life’s ambition and takes up residence in the Elysee Palace, replacing his former mentor. Yesterday Sarkozy had formalities of his own to take care of. He resigned as head of the UMP party after three years as its president. From Thursday he will start appointing his new government. That is expected to include Francois Fillon as interim prime minister ahead of parliamentary elections next month.