François Léotard (/m/027971v)

François Gerard Marie Léotard is a retired French politician. Singer and actor Philippe Léotard was his brother. Member of the Republican Party, the liberal-conservative component of the Union for French Democracy, he appeared in the foreground of the political scene in the 1980s. He led a new generation of right-wing politicians, the "renovationmen", who opposed to the old right-wing leaders Jacques Chirac and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. Culture Minister, from 1986 to 1988, he sold the main public TV channel TF1. He returned in the cabinet as Defense Minister, from 1993 to 1995. Supporting the candidacy of Edouard Balladur in the 1995 presidential election, he was dismissed after Chirac's election. Elected president of the UDF in 1996, he could not prevent the split of this confederation two years later with Alain Madelin's secession. This and the party's poor showing in the 1998 regional elections prompted his resignation. After a mission in Macedonia in 2001 as representative of the European Union, he retired from politics.
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