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Words in the News
Monday 06 May 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Jacques Chirac
Chirac's election victory
Summary: Jacques Chirac won a decisive victory in the second round of the French presidential election. But France still faces major political problems. This report from James Coomarasamy:
   
The News Listen  
  The margin of Jacques Chirac's victory may have averted an immediate social crisis in France but it can't disguise the country's deep political one. This was not a vote for a politician and his policies but against a set of ideas which many people find abhorrent and frightening.

Large numbers of those who put a cross next to Mr Chirac's name said they had no choice but to do so in order to block Jean-Marie Le Pen and to restore France's tarnished international image.

And so, despite his huge mandate, the newly re-elected President faces some tough challenges - firstly, how to deal with the real fears of the millions who voted for the far-right without being seen to pander to extremism, and, secondly, how to ensure victory for his political allies in next month's parliamentary elections and thus avoid another five years of sharing power with a left-wing government.

It was in part this peculiar system of cohabitation which left voters here disillusioned with the current political establishment and paved the way for France's current political crisis.

James Coomarasamy, BBC News, Paris
 

   
The Words Listen
 
  averted
if you avert something unpleasant you prevent it from happening

 
   
  put a cross
voted for

 
   
  to block
to ensure that Mr Le Pen did not win

 
   
  tarnished
damaged and less respected than before

 
   
  mandate
the authority he has to carry out tasks as a result of winning the election

 
   
  to pander
if you pander to someone you do everything they want

 
   
  parliamentary elections
elections for the parliament (as opposed to president)

 
   
  cohabitation
here, a situation where two different parties share power

 
   
  establishment
people who have power and influence

 
   
  paved the way
led to, made it possible for the crisis to happen

 
   
  Read more about this story  
 

Other Words in the News archives

 

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