François Leotard

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Person.png François Leotard  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
François Léotard 1988.jpg
Cannes, France
Alma materÉNA
Member ofFrench-American Foundation/Young Leaders

François Gerard Marie Léotard (born 26 March 1942, in Cannes) is a retired French politician, brother of the singer and actor Philippe Léotard (1940–2001).

Member of the Republican Party, the liberal-conservative component of the Union for French Democracy (UDF), 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.

In 1981, he was selected to be one the first Young Leaders of the French-American Foundation.[1]

Culture Minister, from 1986 to 1988,[2] he sold the main public TV channel TF1.[3] He returned in the cabinet as Defense Minister, from 1993 to 1995.[4] 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,[5] he retired from politics. In 2003, he created together with other prominent European personalities the Medbridge Strategy Center, whose goal is to promote dialogue and mutual understanding between Europe and the Middle-East.[6] He has since written several books.

Yann Piat Murder allegation

In 1997 François Léotard and Jean-Claude Gaudin took legal action over accusations in a book that suggested that they had ordered the murder of Yann Piat. The pair are not named in the book, but details about them make it clear who is being referred to. The book, by Jean-Michel Verne and Andre Rougeot cites a senior former spook as saying the two politicians ordered Piat's murder on February 25, 1994 because she knew too much about alleged sales of military land to mafia-linked businessmen. The court concluded that the journalists "were not able to establish the truth of the facts and the seriousness of the investigation they claim to have led." Rougeot had refused to disclose the name of his source, identified only as an officer in military intelligence. The judge ordered the authors to pay Jean-Claude Gaudin about $32,000 each. Their publisher, Flammarion, was ordered to pay him about $50,000 but Verne said he stood by his book. "I have the conviction that politicians were involved in the murder of Yann Piat," he said. "The conviction supported by evidence I gathered since the book came out. "I tell those people implicated that they will not escape their destiny."[7]

Political career

Governmental functions

Minister of State, minister of Defence : 1993–1995.

Minister of Culture and Communication : 1986–1988.

Electoral mandates

National Assembly of France

Member of the National Assembly of France for Var (department) : 1978–1986 (Became minister in 1986) / 1988–1993 (Became minister in 1993) / 1995–2001 (Resignation). Elected in 1978, reelected in 1981, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1997.

Regional Council

Regional councillor of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur : 1998–2004.

General Council

General councillor of Var (department) : 1979–1988 (Resignation). Reelected in 1985.

Municipal Council

Mayor of Fréjus : 1977–1997 (Resignation). Reelected in 1983, 1989, 1995.

Municipal councillor of Fréjus : 1977–1997 (Resignation). Reelected in 1983, 1989, 1995.

Political functions

President of the Union for French Democracy : 1996–1998.

President of the Republican Party (France) : 1982–1990 / 1995–1997.

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