Édouard Balladur
Édouard Balladur is a French politician who served as Prime Minister of France
Prime Minister of France
The Prime Minister of France in the Fifth Republic is the head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France. The head of state is the President of the French Republic...

 from 29 March 1993 to 10 May 1995.


Balladur was born in İzmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

, Turkey, to an Armenia
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

n Catholic family with five children and long-standing ties to France. His family emigrated to Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

 in 1935.

In 1957, Balladur married Marie-Josèphe Delacour, with whom he had four sons.

Balladur started his political career in 1964 as an advisor to Prime Minister Georges Pompidou
Georges Pompidou
Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou was a French politician. He was Prime Minister of France from 1962 to 1968, holding the longest tenure in this position, and later President of the French Republic from 1969 until his death in 1974.-Biography:...

. After Pompidou's election as President of France in 1969, Balladur was appointed under-secretary general of the presidency then secretary general from 1973 to Georges Pompidou's death in 1974.

He returned to politics in the 1980s as a supporter of Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

. A member of the Neo-Gaullist Rally for the Republic
Gaullist Party
In France, the Gaullist Party is usually used to refer to the largest party professing to be Gaullist. Gaullism claimed to transcend the left/right rift...

 (RPR) party, he was the theoretician behind the "cohabitation government
Cohabitation (government)
Cohabitation in government occurs in semi-presidential systems, such as France's system, when the President is from a different political party than the majority of the members of parliament. It occurs because such a system forces the president to name a premier that will be acceptable to the...

" from 1986 to 1988, explaining that if the right won the legislative election, it could govern with Chirac as Prime Minister without Socialist Party
Socialist Party (France)
The Socialist Party is a social-democratic political party in France and the largest party of the French centre-left. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in France, along with the center-right Union for a Popular Movement...

 President François Mitterrand
François Mitterrand
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the only figure from the left so far elected President...

's resignation. As Minister of Economy and Finance
Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry (France)
The Minister for the Economy, Industry and Employment , or Minister of Finance for short, is one of the most prominent positions in the cabinet of France after the Prime Minister....

, he sold off a large number of public companies and abolished the wealth tax. He appeared as an unofficial deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet led by Chirac. He took a major part in the adoption of liberal and pro-European policies by Chirac and the RPR. After Chirac's defeat at the 1988 presidential election
French presidential election, 1988
Presidential elections were held in France on 24 April and 8 May 1988.In 1981, the Socialist Party leader, François Mitterrand, was elected President of France and the Left won the legislative election. However, in 1986, the Right regained a parliamentary majority. President Mitterrand was forced...

, a part of the RPR held him responsible of the abandonment of Gaullist doctrine
Gaullism is a French political ideology based on the thought and action of Resistance leader then president Charles de Gaulle.-Foreign policy:...

 but he kept the confidence of Chirac.

Prime Minister

When the RPR/UDF
Union for French Democracy
The Union for French Democracy was a French centrist political party. It was founded in 1978 as an electoral alliance to support President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in order to counterbalance the Gaullist preponderance over the right. This name was chosen due to the title of Giscard d'Estaing's...

 coalition won the 1993 legislative election
French legislative election, 1993
French legislative elections took place on 21 and 28 March 1993 to elect the 10th National Assembly of the Fifth Republic.Since 1988, President François Mitterrand and his Socialist cabinets had relied on a relative parliamentary majority. Without the support of the Communists, Prime minister...

, Chirac declined to become Prime Minister again in a second "cohabitation" with President Mitterrand, and Balladur became Prime Minister. He was faced with a difficult economic situation but he did not want to make the political errors of the previous cohabitation government. If he failed to impose his project of minimum income for youth, he led a moderate liberal policy in economy. Conveying the image of a quiet conservative, he did not question the wealth tax
Wealth tax
A wealth tax is generally conceived of as a levy based on the aggregate value of all household holdings actually accumulated as purchasing power stock , including owner-occupied housing; cash, bank deposits, money funds, and savings in insurance and pension plans; investment in real estate and...

 (reestablished by the Socialists in 1988). Despite corruption affairs affecting some of his ministers, who he forced to resign (thus lending his name to the so-called "Balladur jurisprudence
Balladur jurisprudence
The "Balladur jurisprudence," named after former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur, is an unwritten rule according to which a member of the French government who has been indicted in a judicial affair should resign from his functions...

"), he became very popular and had the support of influential media.

1995 Presidential Election

When he became Prime Minister, Balladur had promised Chirac that he would not enter the 1995 presidential election
French presidential election, 1995
Presidential elections took place in France on 23 April and 7 May 1995, to elect the fifth president of the Fifth Republic.The incumbent Socialist president, François Mitterrand, did not stand for a third term. He was 78, had cancer, and his party had lost the previous legislative election in a...

, and that he would support Chirac's candidacy. However a number of right-wing politicians advised Balladur to run for the presidency in 1995. He went back on his promise to Chirac and entered the campaign. When he announced his candidacy, four months before the election, he was considered the favourite. In the polls, he led Chirac by almost 20 points. However from the position of an outsider, Chirac criticized Balladur as representing "dominant ideas", and the difference between the two decreased quickly. The revelation of a bugging scandal which implicated Balladur also contributed to a drop in his popularity among voters.

In the first round of the election, Balladur finished in third place with 18.6% of the vote behind the Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin
Lionel Jospin
Lionel Jospin is a French politician, who served as Prime Minister of France from 1997 to 2002.Jospin was the Socialist Party candidate for President of France in the elections of 1995 and 2002. He was narrowly defeated in the final runoff election by Jacques Chirac in 1995...

 and Chirac. He was thus eliminated from the final run-off election between the top two candidates which Chirac won.

Chirac immediately appointed Alain Juppé
Alain Juppé
Alain Marie Juppé is a French politician currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as Prime Minister of France from 1995 to 1997 under President Jacques Chirac and the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs from 2010 to 2011...

 to replace Balladur as Prime Minister. Despite Chirac declaring that he and Balladur had been "friends for 30 years", Balladur's decision to stand against him greatly strained their relationship. As a result, the "Balladuriens" who had supported him in the presidential election (such as Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

) were ostracized from the new Chirac administration.

Later political career

Balladur failed to win the elections for the presidency of the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 region in 1998, the RPR nomination for the mayoralty of Paris in 2001, and the Chair of the National Assembly
French National Assembly
The French National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic. The upper house is the Senate ....

 in 2002. He presided over the National Assembly's foreign affairs committee during his last parliamentary term (2002–2007). Since the 1980s, he had advocated the unification of the right-wing groupings into a single large party. Chirac realized this with the creation of the Union for a Popular Movement
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

 in 2002.

In 2007, when Nicolas Sarkozy was elected President of France, he nominated Balladur to the head of a committee for institutional reforms. The constitutional revision was approved by the Parliament in July 2008.

From 1968 to 1980, Balladur was president of the French company of the Mont Blanc Tunnel
Mont Blanc Tunnel
The Mont Blanc Tunnel is a road tunnel in the Alps under the Mont Blanc mountain, linking Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France , and Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy . It is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes, particularly for Italy, which relies on the tunnel for transporting as much as...

, while occupying various other positions in ministerial staff. Following the 1999 deadly accident in the tunnel, he gave evidence to the court judging the case in 2005, about the security measures he had or had not taken. Balladur claimed that he always took security seriously, but that it was difficult to agree on anything with the Italian company operating the Italian part of the tunnel. From 1977 to 1986, he was president of Générale de Service Informatique (later merged into IBM Global Services
IBM Global Services
IBM Global Services is the world's largest business and technology services provider. It has over 190,000 workers across more than 160 countries...

), making him one of the few French politicians with business experience.

In 2006 he announced that he would not run again for re-election in 2007 as a member of Parliament for the 15th arrondissement of Paris, a conservative stronghold.

In 2008, Balladur visited the United States to speak at an event organized by the Streit Council for a Union of Democracies
Streit Council
The Streit Council for a Union of Democracies is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit foreign-policy organization working toward closer cooperation and deeper integration among the US and Europe, as well as OECD democracies...

, a Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

-based think-tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

. Balladur presented his latest book, in which he outlined a concept for a "Union of the West."

Balladur is often caricatured as aloof, aristocratic and arrogant in media such as the Canard Enchaîné weekly or the Les Guignols de l'info
Les Guignols de l'info
Les Guignols de l'info is a satirical latex puppet show broadcast on Canal+, a French subscription-based television channel. Hosted by a puppet facsimile of TF1 news anchor Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, Les Guignols is similar to the 1984–1996 British show Spitting Image...

TV show.

Political career

  • Governmental functions
    • Prime minister : 1993–1995.
    • Minister of State, minister of Economy and Finances : 1986–1988.
  • Electoral mandates
  • National Assembly of France
    • Member of the National Assembly of France for Paris : Elected in march 1986, but he became minister / 1988–1993 (Became Prime minister in 1993) / 1995–2007. Elected in 1986, reelected in 1988, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2002.
  • Regional Council
    • Regional councillor of Ile-de-France
      Île-de-France (région)
      Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

       : March–April 1998 (Resignation).
  • Municipal Council
    • Councillor of Paris : 1989–2008. Reelected in 1995, 2001.

Rwanda Genocide

On 5 August 2008, the government of Rwanda issued a report accusing Édouard Balladur of involvement in the 1994 Rwanda genocide that killed 800,000 people. He and other French officials were accused in the report of giving political, military, diplomatic and logistical support during the genocide to Rwanda’s extremist government and the Hutu forces that slaughtered minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus.

Balladur's Cabinet

(29 March 1993 – 10 May 1995)
  • Édouard Balladur – Prime Minister
  • Alain Juppé
    Alain Juppé
    Alain Marie Juppé is a French politician currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as Prime Minister of France from 1995 to 1997 under President Jacques Chirac and the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs from 2010 to 2011...

     – Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • François Léotard
    François Léotard
    François Gerard Marie Léotard is a retired French politician. The late singer and actor Philippe Léotard was his brother....

     – Minister of Defense
  • Charles Pasqua
    Charles Pasqua
    Charles Pasqua is a French businessman and Gaullist politician. He was Interior Minister from 1986 to 1988, under Jacques Chirac's cohabitation government, and also from 1993 to 1995, under the government of Edouard Balladur...

     – Minister of the Interior and Regional Planning
  • Edmond Alphandéry
    Edmond Alphandéry
    Edmond Alphandéry is a French politician, born 2 September 1943 in Avignon, Vaucluse.-Education and early employment:* Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris – Fulbright Fellowship...

     – Minister of Economy
  • Nicolas Sarkozy
    Nicolas Sarkozy
    Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

     – Minister of the Budget and Spokesman for the Government
  • Gérard Longuet
    Gérard Longuet
    Gérard Longuet is a French conservative politician. On 27 February 2011, he became the new French Defense Minister.-Biography:...

     – Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade, Posts, and Telecommunications
  • Michel Giraud – Minister of Labour, Employment, and Vocational Training
  • Pierre Méhaignerie
    Pierre Méhaignerie
    Pierre Méhaignerie is a French politician. He is presently deputy of the Ille-et-Vilaine's 5th constituency and mayor of Vitré...

     – Minister of Justice
  • François Bayrou
    François Bayrou
    François Bayrou is a French centrist politician, president of Union for French Democracy since 1998 and was a candidate in the 2002 and 2007 French presidential elections. In the first round, he received 18.6% of the vote, finishing in 3rd place and therefore was eliminated from the race....

     – Minister of National Education
  • Philippe Mestre – Minister of Veterans and War Victims
  • Jacques Toubon
    Jacques Toubon
    Jacques Toubon is a right-wing French politician who held several major national and Parisian offices.-Political career:Governmental functionsMinister of Culture : 1993–1995....

     – Minister of Culture and Francophonie
  • Jean Puech
    Jean Puech
    Jean Puech is a French politician. He was first a member of the Republican Party before joining the Union for a Popular Movement....

     – Minister of Agriculture and Fish
  • Michèle Alliot-Marie
    Michèle Alliot-Marie
    Michèle Jeanne Honorine Alliot-Marie, born 10 September 1946 and nicknamed MAM, is a French politician of the Union for a Popular Movement . A member of all but one right-wing governments of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, she was the first woman in France to hold the portfolios of Defense , the...

     – Minister of Youth and Sports
  • Dominique Perben
    Dominique Perben
    Dominique Perben is a French politician. Born in Lyon, he was French Minister of Transportation from 2005 to 2007. He was previously Minister of Justice , Minister of Civil Service and Administration and Minister of Overseas France .Perben has been a Deputy in the National Assembly for the fifth...

     – Minister of Overseas Departments and Territories
  • Bernard Bosson
    Bernard Bosson
    Bernard Bosson is a French politician and lawyer. He served as Minister of Transport, Minister of Tourism, and Minister of Public Works under Prime Minister Édouard Balladur from 1993 to 1995...

     – Minister of Transport, Tourism, and Equipment
  • Simone Veil
    Simone Veil
    Simone Veil, DBE is a French lawyer and politician who served as Minister of Health under Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, President of the European Parliament and member of the Constitutional Council of France....

     – Minister of Social Affairs, Health, and City
  • Michel Roussin
    Michel Roussin
    Michel Roussin was the chief of staff of Alexandre de Marenches, who directed the SDECE French secret service until the May 1981 election of François Mitterrand as President of France...

     – Minister of Cooperation
  • Hervé de Charette
    Hervé de Charette
    Hervé de Charette is a French centre-right politician.He is a descendant of the royalist military leader François de Charette. Member of the Union for French Democracy , he was elected deputy for the first time in 1986 as representative of the Maine-et-Loire département...

     – Minister of Housing
  • Alain Carignon – Minister of Communication
  • André Rossinot
    André Rossinot
    André Rossinot is a French politician. He is a medical doctor specialist in Otolaryngology. He is a member of the Radical Party....

     – Minister of Civil Service
  • Alain Madelin
    Alain Madelin
    Alain Madelin is a French politician and a former minister of that country.Madelin, a strong supporter of laissez-faire economics, was a candidate in the 2002 French presidential election as the leader of the Démocratie Libérale party, where he scored 3.91% on the first round...

     – Minister of Companies and Economic Development
  • François Fillon
    François Fillon
    François Charles Armand Fillon is the Prime Minister of France. He was appointed to that office by President Nicolas Sarkozy on 17 May 2007. He served initially until 13 November 2010 when he resigned from being prime minister before a planned cabinet reshuffle.On 14 November 2010, Sarkozy...

     – Minister of Higher Education and Research


  • 19 July 1994 – Minister of Communication Alain Carignon leaves the Cabinet and the Ministry is abolished.
  • 17 October 1994 – José Rossi succeeds Longuet as Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade, Posts, and Telecommunications.
  • 12 November 1994 – Bernard Debré
    Bernard Debré
    Bernard Debré is French urologist at Hôpital Cochin in Paris and a member of the National Assembly of France. He's one of the representants of the city of Paris, and is a member of the Union for a Popular Movement. He is a son of Michel Debré and twin-brother of Jean-Louis Debré.-References:...

    succeeds Roussin as Minister of Cooperation
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