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Chirac joke falls flat with French right

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Chirac joke falls flat with French right

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He may have been joking but not everyone will see the funny side.

Suggesting a switch of political camps, former French President Jacques Chirac said he would vote for Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande in next year’s election.

His comments came as the two men toured a museum together.

And just to make sure the accompanying journalists had not missed the bon mot, he even repeated it.

“I can say I will vote for Hollande,” he beamed.

This is the latest snub to Nicolas Sarkozy.

Already in his memoirs Chirac described his successor as “nervous, impetuous” and “dripping with ambition”.

Chirac, who handed over to Sarkozy in 2007, remains hugely popular with the public while Sarkozy’s ratings are persistently low.

This latest incident is likely to add to the number within the President’s own UMP party who are questioning whether Sarkozy should be their candidate in 2012.