République française (French)
|Motto: "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité" (French)|
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
|Anthem: "La Marseillaise"|
| Great Seal:|
and largest city
| Paris |
and national language
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic|
|4 October 1958 (64 years)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
|ISO 3166 code||FR|
The Fifth Republic (French : Cinquième République) is France's current republican system of government. It was established on 4 October 1958 by Charles de Gaulle under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the Fourth Republic, replacing the former parliamentary republic with a semi-presidential (or dual-executive) system that split powers between a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. De Gaulle, who was the first French president elected under the Fifth Republic in December 1958, believed in a strong head of state, which he described as embodying l'esprit de la nation ("the spirit of the nation").
The Fifth Republic is France's third-longest-lasting political regime, after the hereditary and feudal monarchies of the Ancien Régime (Late Middle Ages – 1792) and the parliamentary Third Republic (1870–1940). The Fifth Republic will overtake the Third Republic as the second-longest-lasting regime and the longest-lasting French republic on 11 August 2028 if it remains in place.
|History of France|
The trigger for the collapse of the Fourth French Republic was the Algiers crisis of 1958. France was still a colonial power, although conflict and revolt had begun the process of decolonization. French West Africa, French Indochina, and French Algeria still sent representatives to the French parliament under systems of limited suffrage in the French Union. Algeria in particular, despite being the colony with the largest French population, saw rising pressure for separation from Metropolitan France. The situation was complicated by those in Algeria, such as European settlers, native Jews, and Harkis (native Muslims who were loyal to France) who wanted to maintain the union with France. The Algerian War was not just a separatist movement but had elements of a civil war. Further complications came when a section of the French Army rebelled and openly backed the Algérie française movement to defeat separation. [ page needed ] Charles de Gaulle, who had retired from politics a decade before, placed himself in the midst of the crisis, calling on the nation to suspend the government and create a new constitutional system. De Gaulle was carried to power by the inability of the parliament to choose a government, popular protest, and the last parliament of the Fourth Republic voting for their dissolution and the convening of a constitutional convention.
The Fourth Republic suffered from a lack of political consensus, a weak executive, and governments forming and falling in quick succession since 1946. With no party or coalition able to sustain a parliamentary majority, prime ministers found themselves unable to risk their political position with unpopular reforms. [ page needed ]
De Gaulle and his supporters proposed a system of strong presidents elected for seven-year terms. The president, under the proposed constitution, would have executive powers to run the country in consultation with a prime minister whom he would appoint. On 1 June 1958, Charles de Gaulle was appointed head of the government; [ vague ]). These plans were approved by more than 80% of those who voted in the referendum of 28 September 1958. The new constitution was signed into law on 4 October 1958. Since each new constitution established a new republic, France moved from the Fourth to the Fifth Republic.on 3 June 1958, a constitutional law empowered the new government to draft a new constitution of France, and another law granted Charles de Gaulle and his cabinet the power to rule by decree for up to six months, except on certain matters related to the basic rights of citizens (criminal law, etc.
The new constitution contained transitional clauses (articles 90–92) extending the period of rule by decree until the new institutions were operating. René Coty remained president of the Republic until the new president was proclaimed. On 21 December 1958, Charles de Gaulle was elected president of France by an electoral college.The provisional constitutional commission, acting in lieu of the constitutional council, proclaimed the results of the election on 9 January 1959. The new president began his office on that date, appointing Michel Debré as prime minister.
The 1958 constitution also replaced the French Union with the French Community, which allowed fourteen member territories (excluding Algeria) to assert their independence.1960 became known as the "Year of Africa" because of this wave of newly independent states. Algeria became independent on 5 July 1962.
The president was initially elected by an electoral college but in 1962 de Gaulle proposed that the president be directly elected by the citizens and held a referendum on the change. Although the method and intent of de Gaulle in that referendum were contested by most political groups except for the Gaullists, the change was approved by the French electorate.The Constitutional Council declined to rule on the constitutionality of the referendum.
The president is now elected every five years, changed from seven by a constitutional referendum in 2000, to reduce the probability of cohabitation due to former differences in the length of terms for the National Assembly and presidency. The president is elected in one or two rounds of voting: if one candidate gets a majority of votes in the first round that person is president-elect; if no one gets a majority in the first round, the two candidates with the greatest number of votes go to a second round.
Two major changes occurred in the 1970s regarding constitutional checks and balances.Traditionally, France operated according to parliamentary supremacy: no authority was empowered to rule on whether statutes passed by Parliament respected the constitutional rights of the citizens. In 1971, however, the Constitutional Council, arguing that the preamble of the constitution referenced the rights defined in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the preamble of the 1946 constitution, concluded that statutes must respect these rights and so declared partially unconstitutional a statute because it violated freedom of association. Only the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, or the president of either house of Parliament could ask for a constitutional review before a statute was signed into law—which greatly reduces the likelihood of such a review if all these officeholders happened to be from the same side of politics, which was the case at the time. Then in 1974, a constitutional amendment widened this prerogative to 60 members of the National Assembly or 60 members of the senate. From that date, the opposition has been able to have controversial new statutes examined for constitutionality.
Socialist (PS) Centrist (CD) Centrist (REM) Republican (UDF) Gaullist (UDR; RPR) Neo-Gaullist (UMP)
|1||Charles de Gaulle||1890–1970||8 January 1959||28 April 1969 (resigned)||Independent|
|–||Alain Poher||1909–1996||28 April 1969||15 June 1969 (interim)||CD|
|2||Georges Pompidou||1911–1974||15 June 1969||2 April 1974 (died in office)||UDR|
|–||Alain Poher||1909–1996||2 April 1974||19 May 1974 (interim)||CD|
|3||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing||1926–2020||19 May 1974||21 May 1981||UDF|
|4||François Mitterrand||1916–1996||21 May 1981||17 May 1995||Socialist|
|5||Jacques Chirac||1932–2019||17 May 1995||16 May 2007||RPR then UMP|
|6||Nicolas Sarkozy||b. 1955||16 May 2007||15 May 2012||UMP|
|7||François Hollande||b. 1954||15 May 2012||14 May 2017||Socialist|
|8||Emmanuel Macron||b. 1977||14 May 2017||Incumbent||REM|
Source: "Les présidents de la République depuis 1848" [Presidents of the Republic Since 1848] (in French). Présidence de la République française.
Socialist (PS) Centrist (REM) Republican (UDF) Gaullist (UNR; UDR; RPR) Neo-Gaullist (UMP; LR)
|Name||Term start||Term end||Political party||President|
|Michel Debré||8 January 1959||14 April 1962||UNR|| Charles de Gaulle |
|Georges Pompidou||14 April 1962||10 July 1968||UNR then UDR|
|Maurice Couve de Murville||10 July 1968||20 June 1969||UDR|
|Jacques Chaban-Delmas||20 June 1969||6 July 1972||UDR|| Georges Pompidou |
|Pierre Messmer||6 July 1972||27 May 1974||UDR|
|Jacques Chirac (1st term)||27 May 1974||26 August 1976||UDR|| Valéry Giscard d'Estaing |
|Raymond Barre||26 August 1976||21 May 1981||Independent|
|Pierre Mauroy||21 May 1981||17 July 1984||Socialist|| François Mitterrand |
|Laurent Fabius||17 July 1984||20 March 1986||Socialist|
|Jacques Chirac (2nd term)||20 March 1986||10 May 1988||RPR|
|Michel Rocard||10 May 1988||15 May 1991||Socialist|
|Édith Cresson||15 May 1991||2 April 1992||Socialist|
|Pierre Bérégovoy||2 April 1992||29 March 1993||Socialist|
|Édouard Balladur||29 March 1993||18 May 1995||RPR|
|Alain Juppé||18 May 1995||3 June 1997||RPR|| Jacques Chirac |
|Lionel Jospin||3 June 1997||6 May 2002||Socialist|
|Jean-Pierre Raffarin||6 May 2002||31 May 2005||UMP|
|Dominique de Villepin||31 May 2005||17 May 2007||UMP|
|François Fillon||17 May 2007||15 May 2012||UMP|| Nicolas Sarkozy |
|Jean-Marc Ayrault||15 May 2012||31 March 2014||Socialist|| François Hollande |
|Manuel Valls||31 March 2014||6 December 2016||Socialist|
|Bernard Cazeneuve||6 December 2016||10 May 2017||Socialist|
|Édouard Philippe||15 May 2017||3 July 2020|| LR then |
| Emmanuel Macron |
|Jean Castex||3 July 2020||16 May 2022||REM|
|Élisabeth Borne||16 May 2022||Incumbent||REM|
Source: "Former Prime Ministers of the Fifth Republic". Government of France.
The president of France, officially the president of the French Republic, is the executive head of state of France, and the commander-in-chief of the French Armed Forces. As the presidency is the supreme magistracy of the country, the position is the highest office in France. The powers, functions and duties of prior presidential offices, in addition to their relation with the prime minister and Government of France, have over time differed with the various constitutional documents since the Second Republic.
France is characterised by numerous political trends. This article provides an overview of some of them.
Gaullism is a French political stance based on the thought and action of World War II French Resistance leader Charles de Gaulle, who would become the founding President of the Fifth French Republic. De Gaulle withdrew French forces from the NATO Command structure, forced the removal of Allied bases from France, and initiated France's own independent nuclear deterrent programme. His actions were predicated on the view that France would not be subordinate to other nations.
The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France from 27 October 1946 to 4 October 1958, governed by the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic that was in place from 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War to 1940 during World War II, and suffered many of the same problems. France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic on 13 October 1946.
The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic(French: Constitution de la Ve République), and it replaced the Constitution of the Fourth Republic of 1946 with the exception of the preamble per a Constitutional Council decision in July 1971. The current Constitution regards the separation of church and state, democracy, social welfare, and indivisibility as core principles of the French state.
The Union for the Defence of the Republic, after 1968 renamed Union of Democrats for the Republic, commonly abbreviated UDR, was a Gaullist political party of France that existed from 1968 to 1976.
In France, the term Gaullist Party is usually used to refer to the largest party professing to be Gaullist. Gaullism claims to transcend the left–right divide in a similar way to populist republican parties elsewhere such as Fianna Fáil in Republic of Ireland, the Justicialist Party in Argentina, and the African National Congress in South Africa.
The Constitutional Council is the highest constitutional authority in France. It was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958 to ensure that constitutional principles and rules are upheld. It is housed in the Palais-Royal, Paris. Its main activity is to rule on whether proposed statutes conform with the Constitution, after they have been voted by Parliament and before they are signed into law by the President of the Republic.
The French Community was an association of former French colonies, most of which were in French Africa. In 1958 it replaced the French Union, which had itself succeeded the French colonial empire in 1946. While the Community remained formally in existence until 1995, when the French Parliament officially abolished it, it had effectively ceased to exist and function by the end of 1960, by which time all the African members had declared their independence and left it.
The Popular Republican Movement was a Christian-democratic political party in France during the Fourth Republic. Its base was the Catholic vote and its leaders included Georges Bidault, Robert Schuman, Paul Coste-Floret, Pierre-Henri Teitgen and Pierre Pflimlin. It played a major role in forming governing coalitions, in emphasizing compromise and the middle ground, and in protecting against a return to extremism and political violence. It played an even more central role in foreign policy, having charge of the Foreign Office for ten years and launching plans for the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, which grew into the European Union. Its voter base gradually dwindled in the 1950s and it had little power by 1954.
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was the provisional government of Free France between 3 June 1944 and 27 October 1946, following the liberation of continental France after Operations Overlord and Dragoon, and lasting until the establishment of the French Fourth Republic. Its establishment marked the official restoration and re-establishment of a provisional French Republic, assuring continuity with the defunct French Third Republic.
Legislative elections took place on 23 and 30 November 1958 to elect the first National Assembly of the French Fifth Republic.
A referendum on the method of the election of the president was held in France on 28 October 1962. The question was whether to have the President of the French Republic elected by direct popular vote, rather than by an electoral college. It was approved by 62.3% of voters with a 77.0% turnout. The reform was controversial because it strengthened the executive at the expense of Parliament, and because of the disputed constitutionality of the procedure used.
The May 1958 crisis, also known as the Algiers putsch or the coup of 13 May, was a political crisis in France during the turmoil of the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962) which led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic and its replacement by the Fifth Republic led by Charles de Gaulle who returned to power after a twelve-year absence. It started as a political uprising in Algiers on 13 May 1958 and then became a military coup d'état led by a coalition headed by Algiers deputy and reserve airborne officer Pierre Lagaillarde, French Generals Raoul Salan, Edmond Jouhaud, Jean Gracieux, and Jacques Massu, and by Admiral Philippe Auboyneau, commander of the Mediterranean fleet. The coup was supported by former Algerian Governor General Jacques Soustelle and his activist allies.
Article 49 of the French Constitution is an article of the French Constitution, the fundamental law of the Fifth French Republic. It sets out the political responsibility of the government towards the parliament. It is part of Title V: "On relations between the parliament and the government". It structures the political responsibility of the current administration of the executive branch towards the French legislative branch. This section of the French constitution outlines how the legislative system tries to maintain the stability of the executive branch by providing the branch with alternatives outside the parliament. This was included in the constitution so as to counter the faults of the Fourth Republic, such as successive rapid government takeovers, by providing the government with the ability to pass bills without the approbation of the parliament, possible through subsection 3 of Article 49.
The National Centre of Independents and Peasants is a right-wing political party in France, founded in 1951 by the merger of the National Centre of Independents with the Peasant Party and the Republican Party of Liberty.
In France, the French constitution of 4 October 1958 was revised many times in its early years. Changes in this fundamental law have become more frequent since the 1990s. This has had two major causes: the desire to modernize public institutions on one hand, and adapting to the European Union and to international law on the other.
In France there are two types of referendum:
There have been eleven presidential elections in France since the establishment of the Fifth Republic in 1958.