FRANCE, CONSTITUTION | See France

‘France is unusual in having a two-headed executive [with both a president and a prime minister], devised by Charles de Gaulle in 1958 when the previous parliamentary system had proved unstable. The Fifth Republic’s constitution established a particularly strong executive presidency. But according to precedent the president is meant to stick to big visions and foreign affairs, leaving the prime minister, whom he names, to deal with the grind of daily policymaking. When the president is an energetic, sleeves-rolled-up sort, this division of labour is hard to sustain,’ (The Economist, A form of hell, 24th February 2018, p19).