The Constitution of the Fifth French Republic was adopted by referendum in September 1958, and this chapter explores the relationship between the president and the prime minister in that Fifth Republic. The first section of the chapter, Patterns of Political Leadership, provides an overview of presidential–prime ministerial relations. The second section, French Semi‐Presidentialism in Context, discusses the constitutional situation, the founding context of the 1962 reform, and the relationship between the president and the parliamentary majority. The concluding section, The Contemporary Nature of French Semi‐Presidentialism, considers the wider context of presidential–prime ministerial relations, and discusses the changing parameters of executive leadership generally. In these ways, the contemporary nature of the Fifth Republic's semi‐presidential system is established.
Keywords: Constitution, constitutional reform, executive leadership, Fifth French Republic, France, parliamentary majority, president, presidential/prime ministerial relations, prime minister, Semi‐Presidentialism
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