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The Sound Kitchen

Jacques Chirac's constitutional change

Audio 17:28
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about Jacques Chirac’s years in French politics. There’s Boris Karloff, jukebox memories, and birthday music for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. And of course, there’s the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

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This week’s quiz: On 5October, I asked you a question about France’s former president, Jacques Chirac. He died on 26September.

Jacques Chirac was at the center of French politics for over 50 years: his first political appointment was in 1962, when then Prime Minister (who was later elected president) Georges Pompidou appointed Chirac head of his personal staff. Chirac went on to become prime minister himself, not once, but twice, and he was elected president twice as well. You were to send me the dates he served as prime minister, and the dates he served as president.

The answer is: Jacques Chirac served as France’s prime minister from 1974 through 1976 under President Giscard d’Estaing, and again from 1986 through 1988 under President François Mitterrand. He was elected president for the first time in 1995 and served until 2002, and was re-elected in 2002; his term ended in 2007.

You may have noted that Chirac’s first presidential term lasted seven years, while his second lasted only five. That’s because Chirac held a referendum in 2000 for a constitutional amendment to shorten the length of the presidential term from seven to five years. As you can see, it passed: French presidents are now elected for five years, and they may only run for re-election once.

The winners are: The Bain family from Chhattisgarh, India. They form the Pariwer Bandhu SWL Club, and they always send their answers by good old-fashioned regular mail.  The Pariwer Bandhu SWL Club is made up of Mrs Fulmala Bain, Dr Deepa Bain, Mr Anand Mohan Bain, Miss Sapna Bain, Miss Tapsi Bain, Miss Reepa Bain, and Miss Sutpa Bain.

Congratulations winners!

Listeners, you do know that even if you are NOT a member of an official RFI Club or a member of the general RFI Listeners Club, you can still enter the quizzes and win? So don’t be shy! Send in your quiz answers!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: “Juke Box Baby” by Joe and Noel Sherman, sung by Perry Como; “Sous le Ciel de Paris” by Hubert Giraud and Jean Dréjac; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and “Liberian Girl” by Michael Jackson.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 20 January to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 25 January podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux


By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

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