|President of the French Republic |
Président de la République française
|Executive branch in French Politics|
|Status||Head of State|
|Nominator||At least 500 elected officials|
|Appointer||Direct popular vote (two rounds if necessary)|
|Term length||Five years, renewable once|
|Constituting instrument||Fifth Republic Constitution|
|This article is part of a series on the|
| Politics of|
The President of France, officially the President of the French Republic (French : président de la République française, French pronunciation: [pʁezidɑ̃ də la ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛːz] ), is the executive head of state of France in the French Fifth Republic. In French terms, the presidency is the supreme magistracy of the country.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system, such as India, the head of state usually has mostly ceremonial powers, with a separate head of government. However in some parliamentary systems, like South Africa, there is an executive president that is both head of state and head of government. Likewise, in some parliamentary systems the head of state is not the head of government, but still has significant powers, for example Morocco. In contrast, a semi-presidential system, such as France, has both heads of state and government as the de facto leaders of the nation. Meanwhile, in presidential systems such as the United States, the head of state is also the head of government.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
The powers, functions and duties of prior presidential offices, as well as their relation with the Prime Minister and Government of France, have over time differed with the various constitutional documents since the French Second Republic. The President of the French Republic is also the ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, Grand Master of the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit. The officeholder is also honorary proto-canon of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, although some have rejected the title in the past.
The Prime Minister of the French Republic in the Fifth Republic is the head of government. During the Third and Fourth Republics, the head of government was formally called President of the Council of Ministers, generally shortened to President of the Council. Most non-French sources referred to the post as "prime minister" or "premier." The title "Prime Minister" became official with the founding of the Fifth Republic.
The Government of the French Republic exercises executive power in France. It is composed of the Prime Minister, who is the head of government, and both junior and senior ministers. Senior ministers are titled as Ministers, whereas junior ministers are titled as Secretaries of State.
The French Second Republic was a short-lived republican government of France under President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. It lasted from the 1848 Revolution to the 1851 coup by which the president made himself Emperor Napoleon III and initiated the Second Empire. It officially adopted the motto of the First Republic, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. The Second Republic witnessed the tension between the "Social and Democratic Republic" and a Radical form of republicanism, which exploded during the June Days uprising of 1848.
The current President of the French Republic is Emmanuel Macron, who succeeded François Hollande on 14 May 2017.
Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is a French politician who has been President of France since May 2017.
François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande is a French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 2012 to 2017. He was previously the First Secretary of the Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008, Mayor of Tulle from 2001 to 2008, and President of the Corrèze General Council from 2008 to 2012. Hollande also served in the National Assembly of France twice for the department of Corrèze's 1st constituency from 1988 to 1993, and again from 1997 to 2012.
The presidency of France was first publicly proposed during the July Revolution of 1830, when it was offered to the Marquis de Lafayette. He demurred in favor of Prince Louis Phillipe, who became king of the French. Eighteen years later, during the opening phases of the Second Republic, the title was created for a popularly elected head of state, the first of whom was Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, nephew of Emperor Napoleon. Bonaparte served in that role until he staged an auto coup against the republic, proclaiming himself Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.
The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution, Second French Revolution or Trois Glorieuses in French, led to the overthrow of King Charles X, the French Bourbon monarch, and the ascent of his cousin Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who himself, after 18 precarious years on the throne, would be overthrown in 1848. It marked the shift from one constitutional monarchy, under the restored House of Bourbon, to another, the July Monarchy; the transition of power from the House of Bourbon to its cadet branch, the House of Orléans; and the replacement of the principle of hereditary right by popular sovereignty. Supporters of the Bourbon would be called Legitimists, and supporters of Louis Philippe Orléanists.
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, known in the United States simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830.
Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, was the first President of France from 1848 to 1852, and the last French monarch from 1852 to 1870. First elected president of the French Second Republic in 1848, he seized power in 1851, when he could not constitutionally be re-elected, and became the Emperor of the French. He founded the Second French Empire and was its only emperor until the defeat of the French army and his capture by Prussia and its allies in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. He worked to modernize the French economy, rebuilt the center of Paris, expanded the overseas empire, and engaged in the Crimean War and the Second Italian War of Independence.
Under the Third Republic and Fourth Republic, which were parliamentary systems, the office of President of the Republic was a largely ceremonial and powerless one. The Constitution of the Fifth Republic greatly increased the president's powers. A 1962 referendum changed the constitution, so that the president would be directly elected by universal suffrage and not by the Parliament.
The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France.
The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France between 1946 and 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.
A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.
In 2000, a referendum shortened the presidential term from seven years to five years. A maximum of two consecutive terms was imposed after the 2008 constitutional reform.
A constitutional referendum was held in France on 24 September 2000. The proposals would result in the mandate of the President being reduced from seven years to five years in line with terms in office in other European countries. It was approved by 73.2% of voters, although turnout was just 30.2%.
The Constitutional law on the Modernisation of the Institutions of the Fifth Republic was enacted into French constitutional law by the Parliament of France in July 2008, to reform state institutions.
Since the referendum on the direct election of the president of the French Republic in 1962, the officeholder has been directly elected by universal suffrage; he was previously elected by an electoral college.
After the referendum on the reduction of the mandate of the President of the French Republic, 2000, the length of the term was reduced to five years from the previous seven; the first election to a shorter term was held in 2002. President Jacques Chirac was first elected in 1995 and again in 2002. At that time, there was no limit on the number of terms, so Chirac could have run again, but chose not to. He was succeeded by Nicolas Sarkozy on 16 May 2007.
Following a further change, the constitutional law on the modernisation of the institutions of the Fifth Republic, 2008, a president cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac are the only presidents to date who have served a full two terms (14 years for the former, 12 years for the latter).
In order to be admitted as an official candidate, potential candidates must receive signed nominations (informally known as parrainages, for "sponsors") from more than 500 elected officials, mostly mayors. These officials must be from at least 30 départements or overseas collectivities, and no more than 10% of them should be from the same département or collectivity.Furthermore, each official may nominate only one candidate. There are exactly 45,543 elected officials, including 33,872 mayors.
Spending and financing of campaigns and political parties are highly regulated. There is a cap on spending, at approximately 20 million euros, and government public financing of 50% of spending if the candidate scores more than 5%. If the candidate receives less than 5% of the vote, the government funds €8,000,000 to the party (€4,000,000 paid in advance). Advertising on TV is forbidden, but official time is given to candidates on public TV. An independent agency regulates election and party financing.
French presidential elections are conducted via run-off voting, which ensures that the elected president always obtains a majority: if no candidate receives a majority of votes in the first round of voting, the two highest-scoring candidates arrive at a run-off. After the president is elected, they go through a solemn investiture ceremony called a "passation des pouvoirs" ("handing over of powers").
The French Fifth Republic is a semi-presidential system. Unlike many other European presidents, the French president is quite powerful. Although it is the Prime Minister of France, the Government as well as the Parliament that oversee much of the nation's actual day-to-day affairs, especially in domestic issues, the French president wields significant influence and authority, especially in the fields of national security and foreign policy.
The president's greatest power is his/her ability to choose the Prime Minister. However, since the French National Assembly has the sole power to dismiss the Prime Minister's government, the president is forced to name a Prime Minister who can command the support of a majority in the assembly. They have also the duty of arbitrating the well-functioning of governmental authorities for efficient service, as the Head of State of France.
Since 2002, the mandate of the president and the Assembly are both five years, and the two elections are close to each other. Therefore, the likelihood of a "cohabitation" is lower. Among the powers of the government:
All decisions of the president must be countersigned by the Prime Minister, except dissolving the French National Assembly, choice of Prime Minister, dispositions of Article 19.
The constitutional attributions of the president are defined in Title II of the Constitution of France.
Article 5 The President of the Republic shall see that the Constitution is observed. He shall ensure, by his arbitration, the proper functioning of the public authorities and the continuity of the State. He shall be the guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity and observance of treaties.
Article 8 The President of the Republic shall appoint the Prime Minister. He shall terminate the appointment of the Prime Minister when the latter tenders the resignation of the Government. On the proposal of the Prime Minister, he shall appoint the other members of the Government and terminate their appointments.
Article 9 The President of the Republic shall preside over the Council of Ministers.
Article 10 The President of the Republic shall promulgate Acts of Parliament within fifteen days following the final adoption of an Act and its transmission to the Government. He may, before the expiry of this time limit, ask Parliament to reconsider the Act or sections of the Act. Reconsideration shall not be refused. While the president has to sign all acts adopted by parliament into law, he cannot refuse to do so and exercise a kind of right of veto; his only power in that matter is to ask for a single reconsideration of the law by parliament and this power is subject to countersigning by the Prime minister.
Article 11 The President could submit laws to the people in a referendum with advice and consent of the cabinet.
Article 12 The President of the Republic may, after consulting the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the assemblies, declare the National Assembly dissolved. A general election shall take place not less than twenty days and not more than forty days after the dissolution. The National Assembly shall convene as of right on the second Thursday following its election. Should it so convene outside the period prescribed for the ordinary session, a session shall be called by right for a fifteen-day period. No further dissolution shall take place within a year following this election.
Article 13 The President of the Republic shall sign the ordinances and decrees deliberated upon in the Council of Ministers. He shall make appointments to the civil and military posts of the State. [...]
Article 14 The President of the Republic shall accredit ambassadors and envoys extraordinary to foreign powers; foreign ambassadors and envoys extraordinary shall be accredited to him.
Article 15 The President of the Republic shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He shall preside over the higher national defence councils and committees.
Article 16 Where the institutions of the Republic, the independence of the Nation, the integrity of its territory or the fulfilment of its international commitments are under serious and immediate threat, and where the proper functioning of the constitutional public authorities is interrupted, the President of the Republic shall take the measures required by these circumstances, after formally consulting the Prime Minister, the Presidents of the assemblies and the Constitutional Council. He shall inform the Nation of these measures in a message. The measures must stem from the desire to provide the constitutional public authorities, in the shortest possible time, with the means to carry out their duties. The Constitutional Council shall be consulted with regard to such measures. Parliament shall convene as of right. The National Assembly shall not be dissolved during the exercise of the emergency powers.
Article 16, allowing the President a limited form of rule by decree for a limited period of time in exceptional circumstance, has been used only once, by Charles de Gaulle during the Algerian War, from 23 April to 29 September 1961.
Article 17 The President of the Republic has the right to grant pardon.
Article 18 The President of the Republic shall communicate with the two assemblies of Parliament by means of messages, which he shall cause to be read and which shall not be the occasion for any debate. He can also give an address in front of the Congress of France in Versailles. Outside sessions, Parliament shall be convened especially for this purpose.
Article 19 Acts of the President of the Republic, other than those provided for under articles 8 (first paragraph), 11, 12, 16, 18, 54, 56 and 61, shall be countersigned by the Prime Minister and, where required, by the appropriate ministers.
Article 49 Para 3 allows the President to adopt a law on his authority. To this end, the Prime Minister goes before the Lower and Upper houses, reads out the bill to the legislators and closes with "the administration engages its responsibility" on the foregoing. Deprived of Gaullist party support halfway into his seven-year term spanning 1974 to 1981, president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing relied heavily on this provision to stalemate Paris mayor Jacques Chirac's attempt to bring him back under Gaullist control.
There is a tradition of so-called "presidential amnesties", which are something of a misnomer: after the election of a president, and of a National Assembly of the same party, parliament traditionally votes a law granting amnesty for some petty crimes. This practice has been increasingly criticized, particularly because it is believed to incite people to commit traffic offences in the months preceding the election. Such an amnesty law may also authorize the president to designate individuals who have committed certain categories of crimes to be offered amnesty, if certain conditions are met. Such individual measures have been criticized for the political patronage that they allow. Still, it is argued that such amnesty laws help reduce prison overpopulation. An amnesty law was passed in 2002; none have yet been passed as of January 2008 [update] .
The difference between an amnesty and a presidential pardon is that the former clears all subsequent effects of the sentencing, as though the crime had not been committed, while pardon simply relieves the sentenced individual from part or all of the remainder of the sentence.
Articles 67 and 68 organize the regime of criminal responsibility of the president. They were reformed by a 2007 constitutional act,in order to clarify a situation that previously resulted in legal controversies.
The president of the Republic enjoys immunity during his term: he cannot be requested to testify before any jurisdiction, he cannot be prosecuted, etc. However, the statute of limitation is suspended during his term, and enquiries and prosecutions can be restarted, at the latest one month after he leaves office.
The president is not deemed personally responsible for his actions in his official capacity, except where his actions are indicted before the International Criminal Court (France is a member of the ICC and the president is a French citizen as another following the Court's rules) or where impeachment is moved against him. Impeachment can be pronounced by the Republican High Court, a special court convened from both houses of Parliament on the proposal of either House, should the president have failed to discharge his duties in a way that evidently precludes the continuation of his term.
Upon the death, removal, or resignation of the president, the Senate's president takes over as acting president.Alain Poher is the only person to have served in this temporary position, and has done so twice: the first time in 1969 after Charles de Gaulle's resignation and a second time in 1974 after Georges Pompidou's death. In this situation, the president of the Senate becomes Acting President of the Republic; they do not become the new President of the Republic as elected and therefore do not have to resign from their position as President of the Senate. In spite of his title as Acting President of the Republic, Poher is regarded in France as a former president and is listed in the presidents' gallery on the official presidential website. This is in contrast to acting presidents from the Third Republic.
The first round of a new presidential election must be organized no sooner than twenty days and no later than thirty-five days following the vacancy of the presidency. Because fifteen days can separate the first and second rounds of a presidential election, this means that the president of the Senate can only act as president of the Republic for a maximum period of fifty days. During this interim period, acting presidents are not allowed to dismiss the national assembly nor are they allowed to call for a referendum or initiate any constitutional changes.
If there is no president of the senate, the powers of the president of the republic are exercised by the "Gouvernement", meaning the Cabinet. This has been interpreted by some constitutional academics as meaning first the Prime Minister and, if he is himself not able to act, the members of the cabinet in the order of the list of the decree that nominated them. This is in fact unlikely to happen, because if the president of the Senate is not able to act, the Senate will normally name a new president of the Senate, that will act as President of the Republic.
During the Third French Republic the president of the Council of Ministers acted as President whenever office was vacant.According to article 7 of the Constitution, if the presidency becomes vacant for any reason, or if the president becomes incapacitated, upon the request of the gouvernement, the Constitutional Council may rule, by a majority vote, that the presidency is to be temporarily assumed by the President of the Senate. If the Council rules that the incapacity is permanent, the same procedure as for the resignation is applied, as described above.
If the president cannot attend meetings, including meetings of the Council of Ministers, he can ask the Prime Minister to attend in his stead (Constitution, article 21). This clause has been applied by presidents travelling abroad, ill, or undergoing surgery.
During the Second French Republic, there was a Vice President. The only person to ever hold the position was Henri Georges Boulay de la Meurthe.
Four French presidents have died in office:
The president of the Republic is paid a salary according to a pay grade defined in comparison to the pay grades of the most senior members of the French Civil Service ("out of scale", hors échelle, those whose pay grades are known as letters and not as numeric indices). In addition he is paid a residence stipend of 3%, and a function stipend of 25% on top of the salary and residence indemnity. This gross salary and these indemnities are the same as those of the Prime Minister, and are 50% higher than the highest paid to other members of the government,which is itself defined as twice the average of the highest (pay grade G) and the lowest (pay grade A1) salaries in the "out of scale" pay grades. Using the 2008 "out of scale" pay grades, it amounts to a monthly pay of 20,963 euros, which fits the 19,000 euros quoted to the press in early 2008. Using the pay grades starting from 1 July 2009, this amounts to a gross monthly pay of 21,131 €.
The salary and the residence stipend are taxable for income tax.
The official residence and office of the president is the Élysée Palace in Paris. Other presidential residences include:
|Candidate||Party||1st round||2nd round|
|Emmanuel Macron||En Marche!||EM||8,656,346||24.01||20,743,128||66.10|
|Marine Le Pen||National Front||FN||7,678,491||21.30||10,638,475||33.90|
|François Fillon||The Republicans||LR||7,212,995||20.01|
|Jean-Luc Mélenchon||La France Insoumise||FI||7,059,951||19.58|
|Benoît Hamon||Socialist Party||PS||2,291,288||6.36|
|Nicolas Dupont-Aignan||Debout la France||DLF||1,695,000||4.70|
|Philippe Poutou||New Anticapitalist Party||NPA||394,505||1.09|
|François Asselineau||Popular Republican Union||UPR||332,547||0.92|
|Nathalie Arthaud||Lutte Ouvrière||LO||232,384||0.64|
|Jacques Cheminade||Solidarity and Progress||S&P||65,586||0.18|
There are four living former French presidents:
According to French law, former presidents of the Republic have guaranteed lifetime pension defined according to the pay grade of the Councillors of State,a courtesy diplomatic passport, and, according to the French Constitution (Article 56), membership of the Constitutional Council.
They also get personnel, an apartment and/or office, and other amenities, though the legal basis for these is disputed.In 2008, according to an answer by the services of the Prime Minister to a question from René Dosière, a member of the National Assembly, the facilities comprised: a security detail, a car with a chauffeur, first class train tickets and an office or housing space, as well as a two people service the space. In addition, funds are available for seven permanent assistants.
President Hollande announced a reform of the system in 2016. Former presidents of France will no longer receive a car with chauffeur; the personnel in their living space were cut as well. Additionally, the number of assistants available for their use has been reduced, but a state flat or house remains available for former officeholders. Train tickets are also available if the trip is justified by the office of the former officeholder as part of official business. The security personnel around former presidents of France remained unchanged.
The most recent president of the French Republic to die was François Mitterrand (served 1981–1995) on 8 January 1996, aged 79.
The French order of precedence is a symbolic hierarchy of officials in the Government of France used to direct protocol.
The Fifth Republic, France's current republican system of government, was established by Charles de Gaulle under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958. 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 prime minister as head of government and a president as head of state. 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 National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic, the upper house being the Senate. The National Assembly's legislators are known as députés.
The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and replaced that of the Fourth Republic, dating from 1946. Charles de Gaulle was the main driving force in introducing the new constitution and inaugurating the Fifth Republic, while the text was drafted by Michel Debré. Since then, the constitution has been amended twenty-four times, through 2008.
The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the head of state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
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.
Jean-Louis Debré is a French politician who served as President of the National Assembly from 2002 to 2007 and President of the Constitutional Council from 2007 to 2016. The son of former Prime Minister Michel Debré, he was Minister of the Interior from 1995 until 1997 during the presidency of Jacques Chirac. Since 2016 he has been President of the Superior Council of Archives.
The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia is the head of government of Cambodia. The prime minister is also the chairman of the Cabinet and leads the executive branch of the Royal Cambodian Government. The prime minister is a member of parliament, and is appointed by the monarch for a term of five years. Since 1945, 36 individuals have served as prime minister; 32 as official prime ministers, and 4 in acting capacities.
The Congress of the French Parliament is the name given to the body created when both houses of the present-day French Parliament—the National Assembly and the Senate—meet at the Palace of Versailles to vote on revisions to the Constitution or to listen to an address by the President of the French Republic.
The Constitution of Cameroon is the supreme law of the Republic of Cameroon. Adopted in 1972, it is Cameroon's third constitution. The document consists of a preamble and 13 Parts, each divided into Articles. The Constitution outlines the rights guaranteed to Cameroonian citizens, the symbols and official institutions of the country, the structure and functions of government, the procedure by which the Constitution may be amended, and the process by which the provisions of the Constitution are to be implemented.
A referendum on the direct 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. However, the reform was controversial because it strengthened the executive at the expense of Parliament, and because of the disputed constitutionality of the procedure used.
In French politics, an ordonnance is a statutory instrument issued by the Council of Ministers in an area of law normally reserved for primary legislation enacted by the French Parliament. They function as temporary statutes pending ratification by the Parliament; failing ratification they function as mere executive regulations.
Article 49 of the French Constitution is an article of the French Constitution, the fundamental law of the French Fifth Republic. It sets out the political responsibility of the government before the parliament. It is part of Title V: "On the relations between the parliament and the government".
The government of Niger is the apparatus through which authority functions and is exercised: the governing apparatus of Nigerien state. The current system of governance, since the Constitution 18 July 1999, is termed the Fifth Republic of Niger. It is a semi-presidential republic, whereby the President of Niger is head of state and the Prime Minister of Niger head of government. The officials holding these posts are chosen through a representative democratic process of national and local elections, in the context of a competing multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature: its Constitutional Court has jurisdiction over constitutional and electoral matters.
The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the French Fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an "indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic". The constitution provides for a separation of powers and proclaims France's "attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789."
The French Commission on renewal and ethics in public life, nicknamed Jospin commission, was a think tank established in 2012 by President François Hollande to provide reforms in public life.
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.
States of emergency in France are dispositions to grant special powers to the executive branch in case of exceptional circumstances. A state of emergency was declared following the November 2015 Paris attacks, which expired, after five extensions, in November 2017.