Niort (AFP)

A wanted notice was launched on Saturday after the "worrying disappearance" in the night from Friday to Saturday, in Deux-Sèvres, of Marie-France Garaud, French political figure of the 1970s, former adviser to Presidents Pompidou and Chirac, have we learned from consistent sources.

The alert was given around 2:00 am by the staff of the residence of Ms. Garaud, 86, in Saint-Pompain, we learned from the Deux-Sèvres gendarmerie. Ms. Garaud was nowhere to be found and the entourage explained that she had left with her vehicle.

The gendarmerie made the connection with a reported vehicle, with an elderly person alone on board, around 10:40 pm Friday evening in the forest of Mervent, about twenty kilometers away, in Vendée. The vehicle, which looked like that of the disappeared, was driving full headlights with an unsafe driving, and passed several times in the same place, said the gendarmerie.

The searches implicated from the second part of the night about twenty soldiers, both on Deux-Sèvres and in Vendée, and they continued actively Saturday morning with the support of a helicopter, told AFP commander of the Deux-Sèvres group, Colonel Jean-Pascal Chateau.

The report by witnesses of the vehicle, a compact light gray Toyota 4X4, at the gendarmerie, had been made Friday evening because the car was rolling zigzagging, said a source close to the file. According to this source, the entourage mentioned "orientation problems" of Ms. Garaud.

Marie-France Garaud, who was the adviser to President Georges Pompidou and the eminence grise of Jacques Chirac, exerted, often in the shadows, an assumed influence in political France of the 70s. Historical Gaullist, fierce opponent of Europe of Maastricht, Ms. Garaud had in the presidential election of 2017 supported Marine Le Pen before the second round.

© 2020 AFP