A centre‐right political movement in France, founded by Jacques Chirac following his victory in the Presidential elections of 2002. Its avowed aim was to end the period of cohabitation and create a parliamentary majority for Chirac's policies. It was composed mostly of members of the Gaulllist RPR and a number of smaller parties, as well as some adherents of the UDF. The party was led by Chirac loyalist Juppé, and gained 355 out of 577 seats in the National Assembly and an absolute majority in the French Senate in the 2002 parliamentary elections. However, its subsequent Prime Ministers, Raffarin (2002–5) and Dominic de Villepin (2005– ) became increasingly unpopular, leading to a decline of authority of Chirac himself. In 2004, the party elected Chirac's rival, Sarkozy, as its president. Sarkozy skilfully constructed his own power base within the party. This gave him a united platform from which to launch his successful bid for the presidency in 2007.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).