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As the candidate of the centre-right RPR, Chirac ran for the presidency against Mitterrand and was defeated in runoff elections in May 1988, whereupon he resigned the post of prime minister.Remaining mayor of Paris, he made his third run for the presidency in May 1995 and this time defeated the Socialist candidate, euro, which replaced the franc as France’s sole currency in 2002.Chirac’s most important achievement during his second term was his administration’s privatization of many major corporations that had been nationalized under Mitterrand.He also reduced payroll and other taxes in an effort to stimulate job creation in the private sector. In the anticipated elections that Chirac called in 1997, a Socialist majority swept back to power, and Jospin returned to head a coalition of Socialists, Communists, and Greens. Chirac, the son of a bank employee, graduated from the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris in 1954, served as an officer in the French army in Algeria (1956–57), and earned a graduate degree from the École Nationale d’Administration in 1959.He then became a civil servant and rose rapidly through the ranks, serving as a department head and a secretary of state before becoming minister for parliamentary relations in 1971–72 under President Georges Pompidou.This formal investigation centred around the former mayor’s alleged use of city funds to compensate members of the RPR political party.
Sarkozy won the election, and in May 2007 he succeeded Chirac.In 2009 a magistrate ordered the former president to face trial on charges dating back to his time as mayor of Paris; Chirac and several associates stood accused of awarding contracts for nonexistent city government jobs to their political allies.Several weeks later Chirac faced a second, similar set of corruption charges.He was first elected to the National Assembly as a Gaullist in 1967. Citing personal and professional differences with Giscard, Chirac resigned from that office in 1976 and set about reconstituting the Gaullist Union of Democrats for the Republic into a neo-Gaullist group, the Rally for the Republic (RPR).With the party firmly under his control, he was elected mayor of Paris in 1977 and continued to build his political base among the several conservative parties of France.