French presidential elections: system, features and interesting facts
French presidential elections are held every 5 years. The new order has been in effect since 1962, when the constitution of the Fifth Republic was adopted. This document establishes a direct vote. The president may be re-elected. To win in the first round, you need to gain an absolute majority of votes. Otherwise, the two leaders go to the second round of voting.
How are the elections in France?
Elections of the President of France are held for all citizens who have reached the age of 18. The only condition is that they should not be restricted in their civil or political rights.
Apply for the position of head of state has the right to a citizen of France, who turned 23 years old. In order to register, he needs to collect 500 electoral signatures. These include members of parliament, general councils, territorial assemblies.Moreover, the electors must represent at least 30 departments or overseas territories of France.
In the event that it was not possible to choose the president in the first round, the second is appointed. In it, the winner is determined by a simple majority vote.
The authority to declare the election of the President of France has the Parliament. This is done after the expiration of the 5-year term of office of the current head of state.
In addition, there are cases in which early elections may be announced. This is the death of the president, the voluntary resignation of the head of state, the removal of the president from office as a result of impeachment. In all these cases, until the election of a new top official, the duties of the president are temporarily performed by the speaker of the Senate. However, he has a limited list of presidential powers. For example, he does not have the right to dissolve parliament, propose constitutional amendments, or organize referendums.
Powers of the President
The key powers that the French president possesses are defined by the relevant article of the Constitution. The president is obliged to monitor the observance of the constitution, to ensure the normal work of public authorities.He is the guarantor of the independence and integrity of the territory of the country, monitors the implementation of international treaties.
An interesting fact: the French president is at the same time one of the princes of Andorra. This is a dwarf state located on the border of France and Spain. The second monarch of this princedom is the Spanish Bishop of Urhelia.
The powers of the head of state in France can be divided into two categories. The first is personal authority. These include those that do not require parliamentary approval.
This is the appointment of a referendum, members of the constitutional council, a speech with messages to parliament, the use of emergency powers to overcome the crisis.
The second group is the powers for the implementation of which requires parliamentary approval. First, these are personnel changes, including the appointment of the prime minister and the formation of a cabinet of ministers. Secondly, the signing of decrees adopted by the Council of Ministers, the convening of extraordinary sessions of parliament, the resolution of questions of defense and international relations, the right to pardon.
Presidential centric model
The president-centered model of governing France, as analysts often call it, was created by Charles to Gaulle and his close associate Michel Debre.
With this model, relations between the president and the speaker of parliament are built strictly according to the formula formulated by de Gaulle himself, who did not go into details of government work, but only determined the main directions of development.
Over time, this model has evolved, including under the influence of constitutional reforms. Today, powers are distributed more flexibly, the political responsibility of the highest bodies of state power is as high as possible.
The upcoming French presidential elections will be held in 2017. Voting will take place on April 23. The French will elect the president of the Fifth Republic for the 11th time. The previous head of state, Francois Hollande, who has led the country since 2012, has decided not to run for a second term. After his term expires, he will end his political career.
The date for the election of the President of France was determined by Parliament In the event that in the first round it is not possible to identify the winner, the second round will be held on May 7th.
In fact, the election campaign started three years before the vote. Already at that time, three main political parties nominated candidates, who must fight. True, much has changed since then.
From the Socialist Party put forward the current President Francois Hollande. He announced the withdrawal of his candidacy in 2016.
From Republicans, Nikolai Sarkozy, who had already led France from 2007 to 2012, claimed the role of the main candidate. However, in the primaries, he lost to his fellow party member Francois Fillon.
From the National Front party, the decision to run for president was expressed by Marine Le Pen. She continues to struggle today. On her initiative, thematic platforms were conducted, within which politicians sought to find out what problems need to be solved first. They discussed issues related to industry, social sphere, youth policy and the environment.
Leaders of the presidential campaign
At the moment, a list of participants has already been formed that will go to the election of the President of France. Candidates are actively conducting each of their campaigns, seeking to enlist the support of as many supporters as possible.
Currently, the required 500 electoral signatures have collected 11 candidates. However, most experts agree that the main struggle will unfold between the five politicians.
Traditionally, many French are expected to come to the French presidential elections. Many analysts are now trying to make a forecast. Many of them give the palm to Republican Francois Fillon. In the early 2000s, he was Minister of Labor, with Nicolas Sarkozy serving as prime minister. After Georges Pompidou, he is the second speaker of parliament for the length of his time in the chair of the head of government.
He had good chances for success, but recently his presidential campaign has been associated with scandals. Recently, journalists found out that his wife was fictitiously employed and was paid a salary.
Another candidate is the leader of the Forward! Party. Emmanuel Macron. In the past, an investment banker in the French government served as Minister of Economy since 2014. Resigned shortly before the official start of the election campaign. Macron published the program "Revolution", which became a bestseller for ordinary voters.
The National Front party will be led by Marine Le Pen to the French presidential election. Rating this policy has traditionally been low. However, in recent years, her chances of success have increased significantly, as she and her supporters offer drastic and drastic measures that can help solve the problem of illegal migrants.Le Pen is the daughter of the famous French nationalist politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, who is known, for example, by his friendship with the leader of the Russian national Bolsheviks Eduard Limonov.
In 2012, Marine Le Pen already participated in the presidential election. Then she received a little less than 18% of the vote, taking third place, losing to Hollande and Sarkozy.
Another strong candidate is from the socialist party. This is Benoit Amon. In the primaries, he defeated Manuel Waltz, who was considered the leader of the French socialists. Amon’s program is based on protecting the interests of the working class, civil liberties and protecting the environment.
The “Recalcitrant France” party is represented by Jean-Luc Melenchon. He is a journalist, in the early 2000s headed the Ministry of profile education. In 2012, he already ran for the presidency. Got a little more than 11% of the vote, finishing 4th.
On the day when the presidential election in France will be held, and it will be on April 23, about 80% of French people are waiting at the polling stations. That was the turnout in the previous presidential elections.
The remaining campaign candidates can hardly count on success, but each of them is able to bring a surprise.
The system of presidential elections in France is such that another six candidates for the highest state post will also take part in the first round. This is Natalie Artot from the Workers Party, Philippe Putou from the Anti-Capitalists Party, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan from the Raise France Party, Jacques Cheminades from Solidarity and Progress, a representative of the National Republican Union, Francois Asselino and Jean Lassalle - candidate from the "Democratic Movement".
When the presidential elections are held, there will be a day off in France - this is Sunday. So, the maximum number of citizens can take part in the voting.
Judging by the election campaign and the past vote, the struggle is expected to be stubborn. In 2012, the French could not elect a president in the first round. Then the current president, Nicolas Sarkozy, received 27% of the votes in the first round, and Francois Hollande a little more than 28.5%.
In the second round, the minimum advantage between the candidates remained. Hollande won with less than 52% of the vote. Sarkozy scored almost 48.5%.