PARIS: French ex-president Jacques Chirac ranked the most popular politician in the country, with a support rate as high as 78 percent, according to a poll by pollster Ifop released on Tuesday.
Notwithstanding resigned two years ago and bothered recently by several trials, Chirac's popularity topped the 50-politician list with 78 percent support rate, the highest since the international market research company began this kind of survey in 2003.
Jean-Louis Borloo, French Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Planning and Development, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of International Monetary Fund, ranked the second and third with similar support rates around 73 percent.
The support rates for the top three collectively increased from last survey released in November, Ifop said, adding that Borloo's role related to the hot topic of climate change gained him more support.
The incumbent French President Nicolas Sarkozy ranked the 29th with a rate of 46 percent, much lower than the current Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who got the 12th position with 60 percent support rate.
The pollster concluded the rank after telephoning around 1,000 French people aged at 18 or older about these politicians on Dec 10-11.
Chirac, born in 1932 in Paris, served as the president of France from May 1995 to May 2007 with two terms and was also the only person to have served twice as Prime Minister under the Fifth Republic.
(China Daily 12/17/2009 page11)