Since the referendum of October 2000, the term of the presidential office was reduced to five years. The President is elected by the direct vote and the majority poll with two turns, since the constitutionally revision of 1962.
In the French Executive Power, the President of the Republic is not a governmental institution; its role is:
To take care of the respect of the Constitution,
To ensure by its arbitration the regular operation of the authorities as well as the continuity of the State,
To guarantee national independence, the integrity of the own territory and the respect of international engagements,
It has the capacity to name and put an end to the functions of the Prime Minister and, on proposal of this one,
It names the ministers,
It chairs the Council of Ministers,
Signs the ordinances and the decrees deliberated at the time of this authority,
He promulgates the laws adopted, in the 15 days of their transmission,
He has the capacity to dissolve the French National Assembly, after consultation of the Prime Minister and the presidents of the two Rooms,
He has the right of reprieve,
He has a capacity of nomination (ambassadors, consuls).
The President of the Republic can ask for a new deliberation of the law voted by the Parliament, which cannot be refused to him.
The President of the French Executive Power is also the chief of the armies; however, it is the Prime Minister who has the armed force and which is responsible for national defence.
The President of the Republic represents the State abroad, it directs the foreign politics: for this reason, the negotiation and the ratification of the international treaties concern its prerogative
Lastly, it can take the full powers when the Nation is seriously threatened. (This prerogative was applied by General de Gaulle of April 23 to September 30, 1961, at the time of the attempt at putsch of the Organization of the Secret Army (OAS), favourable to French Algeria.
Chief of the Government of the French Executive Power
The Prime Minister represents in the French Executive Power, with the President of the Republic, the executive power of the French State. However, it is him, and not the President of the Republic, who
Directs the action of the Government,
Determines and leads the general policy of the Nation,
He has the possibility of imposing his views on the Government and the public administration,
He proposes the appointment of the members of his Government to the President of the Republic,
Carries out the civil servant nomination,
Gives his orders to the prefects,
The Prime Minister ensures the execution of the laws,
Makes adopt, by the Government, the bills which are subjected to the vote of the Parliament,
He has the regulatory capacity, which includes all that does not enter expressly the field of the Laws,
The Prime Minister can work out simple decrees with the only counter-signature of the ministers in charge of their execution,
The Prime Minister can seize the constitutional Council and ask for the convocation of the Parliament in extraordinary session.
Get French lessons and verbs emailed direct to you free
Get lots of useful French lessons and French verbs sent to you each week free by email, from the 200 Words a Day accelerated language learning team. Great for learning, review and consolidating your French knowledge.
Yes, send me my free Learn French newsletters. My details are:
Your privacy is important to us. We do not sell our mailing lists.