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The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
, as well as the
commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...
of the
French Armed Forces The French Armed Forces (french: Forces armées françaises) encompass the Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on ...
. As the presidency is the supreme magistracy of the country, the officeholder is the holder of the highest office in France. The powers, functions and duties of prior presidential offices, in addition to their relation with the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
and
Government of France The Government of France (French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primari ...
, have over time differed with the various constitutional documents since the Second Republic. The president of the French Republic is the ''
ex officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term ''ex officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) ...
''
co-prince of Andorra The co-princes of Andorra are jointly the heads of state ( ca, cap d'estat) of the Principality of Andorra , image_flag = Flag of Andorra.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Andorra.svg , symbol_type ...
, grand master of the
Legion of Honour The National Order of the Legion of Honour (french: Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur), formerly the Royal Order of the Legion of Honour (') is the highest French order of merit An order of merit is an honorific order Order or ORDER or ...
and of the
National Order of Merit An order of merit is an honorific Order (distinction), order that is conferred by a sovereign state, state, government, royal family, or other sovereign entity to an individual in recognition of military or Civilian, civil :wikt:merit, merit. The ...
. The officeholder is also honorary proto-canon of the
Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran The Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran ( it, Santissimo Salvatore e Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano), also known as the Papal Archbasilica of Saint John nLateran, S ...

Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran
in Rome, although some have rejected the title in the past. The current president of the French Republic is
Emmanuel Macron Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (; born 21 December 1977) is a French politician who has been serving as the president of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la R ...
, who succeeded
François Hollande François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande (; born 12 August 1954) is a French politician who served as president of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République fran ...

François Hollande
on 14 May 2017.


History

The presidency of France was first publicly proposed during the
July Revolution The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution (), Second French Revolution or in French ("Three Glorious ays), was a second French Revolution after the First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). Fir ...
of 1830, when it was offered to the
Marquis de Lafayette Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States as Lafayette (, ), was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, c ...

Marquis de Lafayette
. He demurred in favour of Prince
Louis Phillipe Louis Philippe (6 October 1773 – 26 August 1850) was King of the French The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieva ...
, 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
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte
, nephew of Emperor
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
. Bonaparte served in that role until he staged an auto coup against the republic, proclaiming himself Napoleon III,
Emperor of the French Emperor of the French (French: ''Empereur des Français'') was the title of the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foake ...
. Under the Third Republic the president was at first quite powerful, mainly because the royalist party was strong when the constitutional laws of 1875 were established, and it was hoped that a member of one of the two branches of the royal family would be able to serve as president and turn France into a constitutional monarchy. However, the next legislature was dominated by Republicans, and after President
Patrice de MacMahon Patrice de MacMahon, 6th Marquess of MacMahon, 1st Duke of Magenta (; born Marie Edme Patrice Maurice; 13 June 1808 – 17 October 1893), was a French general and politician, with the distinction of Marshal of France. He served as Chief of State ...
had unsuccessfully tried to obtain a new royalist majority by dissolving the ''Chambre des Députés'', his successor promised that he would not use his presidential power of dissolution, and therefore lost his control over the legislature, effectively creating a parliamentary system that would be maintained for 80 years. Indeed, when the Fourth Republic was created, after the Second World War, it was a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
, in which the office of president of the Republic was a largely ceremonial and powerless one. The Constitution of the Fifth Republic, that replaced it in 1958, 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 electoral college established in 1958. In 2000, a
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
shortened the presidential term from seven years to five years. A maximum of two consecutive terms was imposed after the 2008 constitutional reform.


Election

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 Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (a ...
; they were previously elected by an
electoral college An electoral college is a set of Voting, electors who are selected to elect a candidate to particular offices. Often these represent different organizations, political parties or Legal entity, entities, with each organization, political party or ...
. After the referendum in 2000 on the reduction of the mandate of the president of the French Republic, 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 Jacques René Chirac ( , , ; 29 November 193226 September 2019) was a Politics of France, French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. Chirac was previously Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to ...

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 Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa (; ; born 28 January 1955) is a French politician who served as the 23th President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la ...

Nicolas Sarkozy
on 16 May 2007. Following a further change, the constitutional law of 2008 on the modernisation of the institutions of the Fifth Republic, a president cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
François Mitterrand François Marie Adrien Maurice Mitterrand (26 October 19168 January 1996) was a French statesman who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la Républiqu ...
and
Jacques Chirac Jacques René Chirac ( , , ; 29 November 193226 September 2019) was a Politics of France, French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. Chirac was previously Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to ...

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 (known as , for "sponsors") from more than 500 elected local officials, mostly mayors. These officials must be from at least 30 ''
département In the administrative divisions of France, the department (french: département, ) is one of the three levels of government under the national level ("territorial collectivity, territorial collectivities"), between the regions of France, admini ...

département
s'' 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) 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 using 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 a new president is elected, they go through a solemn
investiture Investiture (from the Latin preposition ''in'' and verb ''vestire'', "dress" from ''vestis'' "robe"), is the formal installation or ceremony in which a person is given the authority and regalia of a high office. Investiture can include formal dre ...
ceremony called a ("handing over of powers").


Powers

The
French Fifth Republic The Fifth Republic (french: Cinquième République) is France's current republic, republican system of government. It was established 4 October 1958 by Charles de Gaulle under the Constitution of France, Constitution of the Fifth Republic.. The ...
is a
semi-presidential system A semi-presidential system, or dual executive system, is a system of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, g ...
. Unlike many other European presidents, the French President is quite powerful. Although the
prime minister of France The prime minister of France (french: link=no, Premier ministre français), officially the prime minister of the French Republic, is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Exe ...
, through their Government as well as Parliament, oversee much of the nation's actual day-to-day domestic affairs, the French President wields significant influence and authority, especially in the fields of
national security National security or national defence is the security and Defence (military), defence of a sovereign state, nation state, including its Citizenship, citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of government. Originally c ...
and
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Poli ...
. The President's greatest power is the ability to choose the prime minister. However, since it is the
French National Assembly The National Assembly (french: link=no, italics=set, Assemblée nationale; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Ala ...
that 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. Since 2002, the legislative elections are held a few weeks after the presidential; a majority supporting the President's party is therefore very likely to be obtained. They have also the duty of arbitrating the functioning of governmental authorities for efficient service, as the head of state of France. * When a majority of the Assembly has opposite political views to that of the President, this leads to political ''
cohabitation Cohabitation is an arrangement where two people are not married but live together. They are often involved in a romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of t ...
''. In that case, the President's power is diminished, since much of the ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' power relies on a supportive prime minister and National Assembly, and is not directly attributed to the post of president. * When the majority of the Assembly sides with them, the President can take a more active role and may further influence government policy. The Prime Minister is then a more personal choice of the President, and can be easily replaced if the administration becomes unpopular. This device has been used in recent years by
François Mitterrand François Marie Adrien Maurice Mitterrand (26 October 19168 January 1996) was a French statesman who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la Républiqu ...
,
Jacques Chirac Jacques René Chirac ( , , ; 29 November 193226 September 2019) was a Politics of France, French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. Chirac was previously Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to ...

Jacques Chirac
, and
François Hollande François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande (; born 12 August 1954) is a French politician who served as president of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République fran ...

François Hollande
. 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 is lower. Among the powers of the President: * The President
promulgate Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statutory A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology ...
s laws. ** The President has a suspensive
veto A veto (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...
: when presented with a law, they can request another reading of it by Parliament, but only once per law. ** The President may also refer the law for review to the Constitutional Council prior to promulgation. * The President may dissolve the
French National Assembly The National Assembly (french: link=no, italics=set, Assemblée nationale; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Ala ...
. * The President may refer treaties or certain types of laws to popular
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...

referendum
, within certain conditions (among them the agreement of the prime minister or the Parliament). * The President is the chief of the Armed Forces. * The President may order the use of
nuclear weapons A nuclear weapon (also known as an atom bomb, atomic bomb, nuclear bomb or nuclear warhead, and colloquially as an A-bomb or nuke) is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reaction In nuclear physics Nucl ...
. * The President names the prime minister. In theory, he cannot directly dismiss him, but at least a few recent PM's are known to have given an undated letter of resignation for themselves to the President upon taking office, and the President generally has some influence over the PM. The President also names and dismisses the other ministers, with the advice of the prime minister. * The President names most officials (with the assent of the cabinet). * The President names certain members of the Constitutional Council. (Former presidents are also members of this council) * The President receives foreign ambassadors. * The President may grant a
pardon A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be relieved of some or all of the legal consequences resulting from a criminal conviction. A pardon may be granted before or after conviction for the crime, depending on the laws of the j ...

pardon
(but not an
amnesty Amnesty (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
) to convicted criminals; the President can also lessen or suppress criminal sentences. This was of crucial importance when France still operated the death penalty: criminals sentenced to death would generally request that the President commute their sentence to
life imprisonment Life imprisonment is any sentence Sentence(s) or The Sentence may refer to: Common uses * Sentence (law), the punishment a judge gives to a defendant found guilty of a crime * Sentence (linguistics), a grammatical unit of language * Sentence ...

life imprisonment
. All decisions of the President must be countersigned by the prime minister, except dissolving the
French National Assembly The National Assembly (french: link=no, italics=set, Assemblée nationale; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Ala ...
, choice of prime minister, and other dispositions referred to in Article 19.


Detailed constitutional powers

The
constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case A legal case is in a general sense a dispute between opposing parties which may be ...
attributions of the President are defined in Title II of the
Constitution of France The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and it replaced the Constitution of the Fourth Republic, of 1946. Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie ...
. 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 A veto (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...
; 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 In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
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 A decree is a rule of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, ...

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 An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A langua ...
and envoys extraordinary to foreign powers; foreign
ambassador An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A langua ...

ambassador
s and envoys extraordinary shall be accredited to him. Article 15: The President of the Republic shall be commander-in-chief of the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
. 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 In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
shall not be dissolved during the exercise of the emergency powers. ''Article 16, allowing the President a limited form of
rule by decree Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionma ...
for a limited period of time in exceptional circumstance, has been used only once, by
Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led Free France against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 19 ...
during the
Algerian War The Algerian War, also known as the Algerian Revolution or the Algerian War of Independence,( ar, الثورة الجزائرية '; '' ber, Tagrawla Tadzayrit''; french: Guerre d'Algérie or ') and sometimes in Algeria as the War of 1 November ...
, from 23 April to 29 September 1961.'' Article 17: The President of the Republic has the right to grant
pardon A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be relieved of some or all of the legal consequences resulting from a criminal conviction. A pardon may be granted before or after conviction for the crime, depending on the laws of the j ...

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.


Presidential amnesties

Before the 2008 constitutional reform, forbidding them, there was a tradition of so-called "presidential amnesties", which are something of a misnomer: after the election of a president, and of a
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
of the same party, parliament would traditionally vote a law granting amnesty for some petty crimes (it was also a way of reducing jail overpopulation). This practice had been increasingly criticized, particularly because it was believed to inspire people to commit traffic offences in the months preceding the election. Such an amnesty law would 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 Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to artists su ...

patronage
that they allow. 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.


Criminal responsibility and impeachment

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 Immunity may refer to: Medicine * Immunity (medical), resistance of an organism to infection or disease * Immunity (journal), ''Immunity'' (journal), a scientific journal published by Cell Press Biology * Immune system Engineering * Radiofrequ ...
during their term: they cannot be requested to testify before any jurisdiction, they cannot be prosecuted, etc. However, the statute of limitation is suspended during their term, and enquiries and prosecutions can be restarted, at the latest one month after they leave office. The president is not deemed personally responsible for their actions in their official capacity, except where their actions are indicted before the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

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 them.
Impeachment Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...
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 their duties in a way that evidently precludes the continuation of their term.


Succession and incapacity

Upon the death in office, removal, or resignation of the president, the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
's president takes over as acting president.
Alain Poher
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 Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led Free France against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 19 ...
's resignation and a second time in 1974 after
Georges Pompidou Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou ( , ; 5 July 19112 April 1974) was a French politician who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République français ...
's death while in office. 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 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. 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 , 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, who will act as President of the Republic. During the
Third French Republic The French Third Republic (french: Troisième République, sometimes written as ) was the system of government adopted in History of France, France from 4 September 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, ...

Third French Republic
the president of the Council of Ministers acted as president whenever the 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 , 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 The French Second Republic (french: Deuxième République Française or ), officially the French Republic (''République française''), was the republican government of France that existed between 1848 and 1852. It was established in February 184 ...
, there was a vice president. The only person to ever hold the position was
Henri Georges Boulay de la Meurthe Henri Georges Boulay de la Meurthe, 2nd Count Boulay de La Meurthe (15 July 1797 - 24 November 1858) was the only person to ever have the title of Vice-President of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, Répub ...
.


Death in office

Four French presidents have died in office: * Sadi Carnot, who was assassinated by
Sante Geronimo Caserio Sante Geronimo Caserio (; 8 September 187316 August 1894) was an Italian anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. ...

Sante Geronimo Caserio
on 25 June 1894, aged 56. *
Félix Faure Félix François Faure (, 30 January 1841 – 16 February 1899) was President of France The president of France, officially the president of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the head of state ...

Félix Faure
, who died on 16 February 1899, aged 58. *
Paul Doumer Joseph Athanase Doumer, commonly known as Paul Doumer (; 22 March 18577 May 1932), was the President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the ...

Paul Doumer
, who was assassinated by
Paul Gorguloff
Paul Gorguloff
on 7 May 1932, aged 75, the oldest to die in office. *
Georges Pompidou Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou ( , ; 5 July 19112 April 1974) was a French politician who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République français ...
, who died on 2 April 1974, aged 62.


Pay and official residences

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 ServiceThe French Civil Service (french: fonction publique française) is the set of civil servant The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed ...
("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 An income tax is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelate ...
. The official residence and office of the president is the Élysée Palace in Paris. Other presidential residences include: * the
Hôtel de Marigny
Hôtel de Marigny
, standing next to the Élysée Palace, houses foreign official guests; * the
Château de Rambouillet The Château de Rambouillet (), also known in English as the Castle of Rambouillet, is a château in the town of Rambouillet, Yvelines Departments of France, department, in the Île-de-France (region), Île-de-France region in northern France, s ...

Château de Rambouillet
is normally open to visitors when not used for (rare) official meetings; * the Domaine national de Marly is normally open to visitors when not used for (rare) official meetings; * the
Fort de Brégançon
Fort de Brégançon
, in Southeastern France, is the official presidential vacation residence. In 2013, it became a national monument and is opened to the public some moments since 2014. The French president's private quarters there are still available for his use. La Lanterne became an official presidential vacation residence in 2007.


Latest election


Pension and benefits

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. The current system for providing personnel and other amenities to the former French presidents was devised in 1981 by Michel Charasse, then advisor to President
François Mitterrand François Marie Adrien Maurice Mitterrand (26 October 19168 January 1996) was a French statesman who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la Républiqu ...
, in order to care for former president
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing The French name Valery () is a given name or surname of Germanic origin ''Walaric'' (see Walric of Leuconay), that has often been confused in modern times with the Latin name ''Valerius The gens Valeria was a patrician (ancient Rome), patricia ...
and the widow of former President
Georges Pompidou Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou ( , ; 5 July 19112 April 1974) was a French politician who served as President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République français ...
. 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 who 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 and the personnel in their living space was 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.Hollande rabote les privilèges des anciens présidents
''Le Monde'', 5 October 2016.


Lists relating to the presidents of France

* List of French non-presidential heads of state by tenure * List of presidents of France * List of presidents of France by tenure


References


Further reading


How Powerful Is France's President?
A primer from the Council on Foreign Relations * John Gaffney. ''Political Leadership in France: From Charles de Gaulle to Nicolas Sarkozy'' (Palgrave Macmillan; 2012), . Explores mythology and symbolism in French political culture through a study of the personas crafted by de Gaulle and his five successors.


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:President of France Presidents of France Government of France 1848 establishments in France 1871 establishments in France 1959 establishments in France