Michèle Alliot-Marie


Michèle Alliot-Marie
Michèle Alliot-Marie
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
In office
14 November 2010 – 27 February 2011
Prime Minister François Fillon
Preceded by Bernard Kouchner
Succeeded by Alain Juppé
Minister of Justice
In office
23 June 2009 – 13 November 2010
Prime Minister François Fillon
Preceded by Rachida Dati
Succeeded by Michel Mercier
Minister of the Interior
In office
18 May 2007 – 23 June 2009
Prime Minister François Fillon
Preceded by François Baroin
Succeeded by Brice Hortefeux
Minister of Defence
In office
7 May 2002 – 18 May 2007
Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin
Dominique de Villepin
Preceded by Alain Richard
Succeeded by Hervé Morin
Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports
In office
29 March 1993 – 18 May 1995
Prime Minister Édouard Balladur
Preceded by Frédérique Bredin
Succeeded by Guy Drut
Personal details
Born 10 September 1946 (1946-09-10) (age 65)
Villeneuve-le-Roi, France
Political party Union for a Popular Movement (2002–present)
Other political
affiliations
Rally for the Republic (Before 2002)
Domestic partner Patrick Ollier
Alma mater Pantheon-Assas Paris II University

Michèle Jeanne Honorine Alliot-Marie, born 10 September 1946 and nicknamed MAM, is a French politician of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). 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 (2002-2007), the Interior (2007-2009) and Foreign Affairs (2010-2011).[1] She has also been in charge of Youth and Sports (1993-1995) and Justice (2009-2010), and was granted the honorary rank of Minister of State in her last two offices.

She resigned in 2011 after nine years in government due to her position during the Tunisian revolution, and is currently Deputy for Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Deputy Mayor of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, as well as Vice President of the UMP.

Alliot-Marie was the last President of the Rally for the Republic (1999-2002), the last incarnation of the Gaullist party, and was the first woman to chair a major French political party. She has remained a leading Gaullist after the RPR merged into the UMP and was seen as a rival to Nicolas Sarkozy before and after his election as President in 2007, although direct confrontation was always avoided.

Alliot-Marie is a law and political science scholar. Her companion is Patrick Ollier, Minister in charge of Relations with Parliament in the Fillon II government; both were ministers simultaneously for a few months in 2010-2011, the first time a couple ever sat in a French government.

Contents

Early life

Michèle Marie was born on 10 September 1946 in Villeneuve-le-Roi, Val-de-Marne, to Bernard Marie, the Mayor of Biarritz and a famous international rugby referee.

She studied law at the Paris-II University (Panthéon-Assas) where she obtained her PhD. Before her career in politics, she was a senior lecturer at the Paris-I University (Panthéon-Sorbonne), and also spent some time practicing law. She holds a doctorate of law, a doctorate in political science and a Master’s degree in ethnology.

Career

Local politics

Before entering national politics, Alliot-Marie was a Municipal Councillor of Ciboure between 1983 and 1988 and of Biarritz, of which her father was the Mayor until 1991, between 1989 and 1995.

She then served as Mayor of Saint-Jean-de-Luz until 2002, and as First Deputy Mayor since then. She was also a member and a Vice President of the General Council of Pyrénées-Atlantiques between 1994 and 2001.

National politics

Alliot-Marie was elected to the National Assembly to represent Pyrénées-Atlantiques in 1986 as a member of the Gaullist Rally for the Republic (RPR). She has been seating in the Assembly ever since, except when she sat in the government.

She served as Secretary of State (junior minister) for Schools under the Minister of National Education in Jacques Chirac's second government from 1986 to 1988 and as Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in Édouard Balladur's gouvernment from 1993 to 1995.

From 1989 to 1994, she was a Member of the European Parliament.

President of the RPR

In 1999, “MAM” entered the challenge for the presidency of the RPR against Chirac's candidate and, to most insiders' surprise, won by a landslide, becoming the first woman to lead a major French political party. She remained President of the party until 2002 when it merged with the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), a merger she opposed at first.

Defense ministership

Alliot-Marie was Minister of Defense during Jacques Chirac’s second presidential term, France's first woman in this position. Between May and June 2002, she was also in charge of Veterans’ Affairs. Forbes magazine declared her the 57th most powerful woman in the world in 2006 and the 11th in 2007.[citation needed] She kept the Defense portfolio in Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s three governments and in Dominique de Villepin’s governement.

She remained a leading Gaullist after the RPR merger into the UMP, and created her own movement within the party, Le Chêne (The Oak). Although she publicly considered competing with Nicolas Sarkozy for the UMP nomination in the 2007 presidential election, she ruled herself out of the running in January 2007 and endorsed Sarkozy. Sarkozy and Alliot-Marie had a history of disagreements in the party’s National Council.[1]

Interior and Justice ministerships

After Sarkozy’s election as President, Alliot-Marie was appointed Minister of the Interior, the Overseas and Local Communities in François Fillon's government, being the first woman to hold the position.[1]

Two years later, after the 2009 European Parliament election, she appointed Minister of Justice and Liberties and Keeper of the Seals and was bestowed the title of Minister of State, which gave her the most senior rank in the government after the Prime Minister. She was made a Vice President of the UMP the same year.

Foreign Affairs ministership

In November 2010, Alliot-Marie was appointed Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, remaining Minister of State and being again the first holder of the office.

When civil unrest began in Tunisia in early 2010, Alliot-Marie came under scrutiny for going on vacation there during the events, as she had frequently done in the past. She further caused controversy when she told the National Assembly that French riot police could be offered to help restore order.[2]; she was specifically criticised for allegedly sending teargas to Tunisia as late as January 2011.[3]

Her situation embarrassing the government, she resigned as Foreign Minister on 27 February 2011 after only a few months in office.[4] She was succeeded by outgoing Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Alain Juppé.

Political career

Ministerial offices

  • Secretary of State for Education: 1986–1988.
  • Minister of Youth and Sports: 1993–1995.
  • Minister of Defense: 2002–2007.
  • Minister of the Interior, Overseas Territories and Territorial Communities : 2007–2009.
  • Keeper of the Seals, Minister of State, Minister of Justice and Freedoms: 2009–2010.
  • Minister of State, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs: 2010–2011 (resignation).

Electoral mandates

National Assembly

  • Member of the National Assembly for Pyrénées-Atlantiques (6th constituency): elected in march 1986 (became minister in march 1986) / 1988–1993 (became minister in 1993) / 1995–2002 (became minister in 2002) / reelected in 2007 but she remained minister / And since 2011. Elected in 1986, reelected in 1988, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2007.

General Council

Municipal Council

  • Mayor of Saint-Jean-de-Luz: since 1995, reelected in 2001 and 2008.
  • Municipal Councillor of Saint-Jean-de-Luz: since 1995, reelected in 2001 and 2008.
  • Municipal Councillor of Biarritz: 1989–1991.
  • Municipal Councillor of Ciboure: 1983–1988.

Party political offices

Personal life

Michèle Marie married anthropologist Michel Alliot in 1971, taking the name Michèle Alliot-Marie. They divorced in 1984.

In the French media, she is nicknamed "MAM".

Since 1988, her life partner has been Patrick Ollier, who briefly served as President of the National Assembly in 2007 and subsequently chaired the Assembly’s Economy Committee. In November 2010, he was appointed Minister in charge of Relations with Parliament in the Fillon II government. Both were ministers simultaneously for a few months in 2010-2011, the first time a couple ever sat in a French government. Due to her higher public profile, he has been nicknamed “Patrick Ollier-Marie” or “POM”.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Excerpts from "Dawn Evening or Night"". International Herald-Tribune. 24 August 2007. http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/24/europe/23excerpts-sarkozy.php. Retrieved 6 September 2007. 
  2. ^ Tunisia's troubles: No sign of an end, The Economist, dated 13 January 2011.
  3. ^ Willsher, Kim (5 February 2011). Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-france-scandal-20110205,0,3337828.story. 
  4. ^ http://www.tsr.ch/info/monde/2984680-michele-alliot-marie-jette-l-eponge.html

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Frédérique Bredin
Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports
1993–1995
Succeeded by
Guy Drut
Preceded by
Alain Richard
Minister of Defence
2002–2007
Succeeded by
Hervé Morin
Preceded by
François Baroin
Minister of the Interior
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Brice Hortefeux
Preceded by
Rachida Dati
Minister of Justice
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Michel Mercier
Preceded by
Bernard Kouchner
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Alain Juppé
Party political offices
Preceded by
Nicolas Sarkozy
President of Rally for the Republic
1999–2002
Succeeded by
Serge Lepeltier
Acting

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