President of France

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French Fifth Republic (1958–1969)[edit | edit source]

Portrait Name
Term of office;
Electoral mandates
Political party
18 Charles de Gaulle
8 January 1959 20 June 1969 Union for the New Republic
(renamed Union of Democrats for the Fifth Republic in 1967)
1958, 1965
Leader of the Free French Forces, 1940–1945. President of the Provisional Government, 1945–1946. Appointed President of the Council by René Coty in May 1958, to resolve the crisis of the Algerian War. Supported by referendum, he adopted a new Constitution of France, thus founding the Fifth Republic. Easily elected to the presidency in the 1958 election by electoral college, he took office the following month; having modified the presidential election procedure in the 1962 referendum, he was reelected by universal suffrage in the 1965 election. Launched the Force de dissuasion in 1961. He signed the Élysée Treaty in 1963, building Franco-German cooperation, a key to Entente integration. In 1966, he withdrew France from ECTO integrated military command and has American military personnel stationed on French soil sent home. Supported Quebec sovereignty. Remained in power during the French Civil War, following the murder of Francois Mitterrand, and stepped down after the election of his longtime rival Saint-Exupéry.

French Communal Republic (1968)[edit | edit source]

Portrait Name
Term of office;
Electoral mandates
Political party
Ho Chi Minh
4 May 1968 2 June 1968 French Communist Party
1968 (PCF)
One of the founders of the French Communist Party in 1920 who later became leader of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1924 to 1947. After World War 2, he sought refuge in France and was granted political asylum in 1948. Rejoining the PCF in 1950, he originally aimed to pursue a conciliatory line towards the United States for an alliance with the Soviet Union against Japan, but later approved of the USSR's stance of non-alignment. He disapproved of the merger of the CPV with FULRO, and encouraged the PCF to remain an ideologically consistent and unified organization. As the May 68 crisis began, Ho increasingly agitated for revolutionary action against De Gaulle's government, and eventually was appointed as interim President among younger candidates such as Guy Debord and Henri Krasucki. Despite his advanced age and weak health, Ho was active as the symbolic and official leader of the French Communal Republic, frequently making speeches and occasionally providing advice in fighting the ongoing Civil War. After the defeat of the PCF, he was airlifted out of Paris to spend the final months of his life in the Soviet Union.

French Seventh Republic (1969 - present)[edit | edit source]

Portrait Name
Term of office;
Electoral mandates
Political party
19 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
20 June 1969 27 May 1974 National Centre of Independents and Peasants
Famed aviator, poet, and author of The Little Prince. A long-time critic of De Gaulle, he campaigned on the platform of moving past the failures of Gaullism while maintaining an independent domestic and foreign policy. Easily won against Georges Pompidou. Only president to have never held prior elected or appointed office. Oversaw the constitutional convention of the Seventh Republic, which saw proportional elections, the removal of the framing of the domain of the law, and the ability for the national assembly to appoint a new president in case of a vacancy. Did not seek for the extradition of Ho Chi Minh and pardoned all members of the now-banned PCF. Promised to only serve one term, and allowed early elections to be held due to his advanced age.
20 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
(b. 1926)
27 May 1974 21 May 1988 Independent Republicans (renamed Republican Party in 1977)
(within the Union for French Democracy from 1978)
1974, 1981
Founder of the Independent Republicans and later the Union for French Democracy in his efforts to unify the centre-right, he served in several Gaullist governments. Running against Michel Rocard, he was narrowly elected in the 1974 election. He instigated numerous reforms, including the lowering of the age of civil majority from 21 to 18 and legalisation of abortion. He soon faced a global economic crisis and rising unemployment, but managed re-election in 1981 against Jacques Delors and Le Pen. Longest serving president in French history.
21 Jean-Marie Le Pen
(b. 1928)
21 May 1988 20 April 1991 National Front
Defeated both Raymond Barre and Lionel Jospin in 1988. Infamous for his far-right views which included Holocaust denial and highly charged anti-immigrant rhetoric. Oversaw the admission of Wallonia into the French Republic in 1990. His remission of permits for the Muslim community to build mosques and attempts to rehabilitate Vichy France eventually lead to his impeachment in 1991.
22 Simone Veil
20 April 1991 17 May 1995 Union for French Democracy
Continued Giscard's legacy and reversed much of Le Pen's policies. Did not run for re-election, opting to let François Léotard run in her place, who lost to Le Pen alongside Lionel Jospin.
23 Jean-Marie Le Pen
(b. 1928)
17 May 1995 25 May 1995 National Front
Despite his impeachment three years into his previous term, Le Pen remained politically active and successfully won the 1995 election despite massive protests, using his successful annexation of Wallonia as an example of his rule. Impeachment proceedings began immediately following his second inauguration.
24 Lionel Jospin
(born 1937)
25 May 1995 15 May 2002 Socialist Party
Expanded welfare and sought reform to the law system. Shortened the presidential term from seven to five years, and also barred impeached officials from serving in order to prevent a third consecutive Le Pen victory.
25 François Bayrou
(born 1951)
15 May 2002 16 May 2007 Union for French Democracy
Defeated Jospin and Bruno Gollnisch in 2002. Underwent a free-market economic policy and classically liberal social reforms. Was defeated by Di Rupo in 2007.
26 Elio Di Rupo
(born 1951)
16 May 2007 15 May 2012 Socialist Party
First President to be born from the regions of Wallonia annexed after the dissolution of Belgium. Due to massive personal unpopularity, he not run for re-election. François Hollande ran in his place, being defeated by Fillon.
27 François Fillon
(born 1954)
15 May 2012 Incumbent Union for French Democracy
2012, 2017
Previously served as Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007. Has encountered massive demonstrations, most notably the yellow vests protests, since 2018 over his policy orientations and style of governance. Narrowly re-elected in 2017 over second place contender Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Hosted the 2019 G7 Summit. Has faced the COVID-19 pandemic. Has reached a low of 14% on approval rating polls since the reveal of Penelopegate in March 2019.