Won't Run for 2nd Term, Mitterrand Says

From Reuters

Socialist President Francois Mitterrand said Monday that he does not intend to run for a second seven-year term in France's next presidential election, in 1988.

Mitterrand, speaking to reporters after watching military maneuvers in southwest France, did not categorically rule out changing his mind later but said he does not expect to do so.

The president, who will be 70 on Oct. 26, has been urged by leading figures in the Socialist Party to run again.

"Each time I consider this problem, everything leads me to think that I will not be a candidate. I am not so ambitious as to want to install myself indefinitely," he said.

"Will there be elements that intervene to make me say it is a mistake? I cannot think so," he added.

Mitterrand, whose popularity slumped to record lows during the first five years of his term, has climbed in the opinion polls since the March general election, which installed a right-wing government and stripped him of many of his powers.

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