François Charles Armand Fillon is a retired French politician who served as Prime Minister of France from 2007 to 2012 under President Nicolas Sarkozy. He was the nominee of the Republicans, the country's largest centre-right political party, for the 2017 presidential election. Fillon became Jean-Pierre Raffarin's Minister of Labour in 2002 and undertook controversial reforms of the 35-hour working week law and of the French retirement system. In 2004, as Minister of National Education he proposed the much debated Fillon law on Education. In 2005, Fillon was elected Senator for the Sarthe department, his role as a political advisor in Nicolas Sarkozy's successful race for President led to his becoming Prime Minister in 2007. Fillon resigned upon Sarkozy's defeat by François Hollande in the 2012 presidential elections. Running on a platform described as conservative, Fillon entered the 2016 Republican presidential primary, he placed first in the first round on 20 November, defeating Alain Juppé in the primary run-off a week later.
Following his victory in the primary, opinion polls showed Fillon as one of the frontrunners for the 2017 presidential election along with Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. In March 2017, François Fillon became one of the first candidates of the most important French party to "be formally charged in a widening embezzlement investigation" due to allegations "that he had paid his wife and children hundreds of thousands of euros from the public payroll for little or no work" during the presidential race, in a case that became known as "Penelopegate", he decided not to withdraw from the race and continues to declare his innocence, denying that he embezzled any money. On 23 April 2017, he was eliminated at the first round of the presidential election, subsequently acknowledged that he did not have the legitimacy to lead the party through the legislative elections in June. Fillon was born on 4 March 1954 in Le Mans, France, his father, Michel, is a civil law notary, while his mother, Anne Soulet Fillon, is a celebrated historian of Basque descent.
His youngest brother, Dominique, is a jazz musician. Fillon received a baccalauréat in 1972, he studied at the University of Maine in Le Mans where he received a master's degree in public law in 1976. He subsequently received a master of Advanced Studies in public law from Paris Descartes University. Governmental functionsMinister of Higher Education and Research: 1993–1995. Minister of Information Technologies and Posts: May – November 1995. Minister responsible for Posts, Telecommunications and Space: 1995–1997. Minister of Social Affairs and Solidarity: 2002–2004. Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research: 2004–2005. Prime minister: 2007–2012. February to May 2012: he assumed the functions of the Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Housing, after the resignation of Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet who became spokeswoman of Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential campaign. Electoral mandatesNational Assembly of France President of the Rally-UMP Group in the National Assembly: November 2012 – January 2013.
Member of the National Assembly for Paris: 2012–2017. Member of the National Assembly for Sarthe: 1981–1993. Elected in 1981, reelected in 1986, 1988, 1993, 1997, 2002, 2007. Senate of France Senator of the Sarthe: 2005–2007. Elected in 2004, remained as Minister. Reelected in 2005. Regional Council President of the Regional Council of Pays-de-la-Loire: 1998–2002. Vice-president of the Regional Council of Pays-de-la-Loire: 2002–2004. Regional councillor of Pays-de-la-Loire: 1998–2007. Reelected in 2004. Elected in Sarthe constituency. General Council President of the General Council of Sarthe: 1992–1998. Reelected in 1994. Vice President of the General Council of Sarthe: 1985–1992. General councillor of the Sarthe, elected in the canton of Sablé-sur-Sarthe: 1981–1998. Reelected in 1985, 1992. Municipal Council Mayor of Sablé-sur-Sarthe: 1983–2001. Reelected in 1989, 1995. Municipal councillor of Sablé-sur-Sarthe: 1983–2001. Reelected in 1989, 1995. Municipal councillor of Solesmes: 2001–2014. Reelected in 2008.
Community of communes Council President of the Communauté de communes of Sablé-sur-Sarthe: 2001–2012. Reelected in 2008. Member of the Communauté de communes of Sablé-sur-Sarthe: 2001–2014. Reelected in 2008; the day after Nicolas Sarkozy became President he appointed Fillon as Prime Minister of France, charging him with the task of forming a new cabinet, announced on 18 May 2007. By appointing as Secretary of State André Santini, indicted in the Fondation Hamon affair on charges of corruption, Fillon made the first break since 1992 with the so-called "Balladur jurisprudence", according to which an indicted governmental personality should resign until the case is closed. On 13 November 2010, Fillon resigned. One day Sarkozy reappointed Fillon as Prime Minister, allowing Fillon to formally name a new cabinet. Following the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy to François Hollande in the 2012 presidential election, Fillon resigned on 10 May. Following the inauguration of Hollande as President on 15 May 2012, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Mayor of Nantes, was appointed to succeed Fillon as Prime Minister.
Aiming at building consensus within the diverging views at the UMP after Francois Hollande's victory in the French presidential
Muslims are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad; the majority of Muslims follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter". The largest denomination of Islam are Sunni Muslims who constitute 85-90% of the total Muslim population, followed by the Shia who make up most of the remainder of Muslims; the beliefs of Muslims include: that God is eternal and one. The religious practices of Muslims are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith, daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. To become a Muslim and to convert to Islam, it is essential to utter the Shahada, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a declaration of faith and trust that professes that there is only one God and that Muhammad is God's messenger.
It is a set statement recited in Arabic: lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh "There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of God."In Sunni Islam, the shahada has two parts: la ilaha illa'llah, Muhammadun rasul Allah, which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada. The first statement of the shahada is known as the tahlīl. In Shia Islam, the shahada has a third part, a phrase concerning Ali, the first Shia Imam and the fourth Rashid caliph of Sunni Islam: وعليٌ وليُّ الله, which translates to "Ali is the wali of God; the word muslim is the active participle of the same verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-M "to be whole, intact". A female adherent is a muslima; the plural form in Arabic is muslimūn or muslimīn, its feminine equivalent is muslimāt. The ordinary word in English is "Muslim", it is sometimes transliterated as "Moslem", an older spelling. The word Mosalman is a common equivalent for Muslim used in South Asia.
Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mahometans. Although such terms were not intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. Other obsolete terms include Muslimist. Musulmán/Mosalmán is modified from Arabic, it is the origin of the Spanish word musulmán, the German Muselmann, the French word musulman, the Polish words muzułmanin and muzułmański, the Portuguese word muçulmano, the Italian word mussulmano or musulmano, the Romanian word musulman and the Greek word μουσουλμάνος. In English it has become archaic in usage. Apart from Persian, Polish, Portuguese and Greek, the term could be found, with obvious local differences, in Armenian, Pashto, Hindi, Marathi, Turkish, Uzbek, Azeri, Hungarian, Bosnian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and Sanskrit; the Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said: A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship to God... Islam means making one's religion and faith God's alone.
The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers within Judaism and Christianity, their respective followers, as Muslim: Adam, Abraham, Jacob and Jesus and his apostles are all considered to be Muslims in the Qur'an. The Qur'an states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values, which included praying, charity and pilgrimage. Thus, in Surah 3:52 of the Qur'an, Jesus' disciples tell him, "We believe in God. In Muslim belief, before the Qur'an, God had given the Tawrat to Moses, the Zabur to David and the Injil to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets; the most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims, followed by Pakistan and Egypt. About 20 % of the world's Muslims lives in the Middle North Africa. Sizable minorities are found in India, Russia, the Americas and parts of Europe; the country with the highest proportion of self-described Muslims as a proportion of its total population is Morocco.
Converts and immigrant communities are found in every part of the world. Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni; the second and third largest sects and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%, 1% respectively. With about 1.8 billion followers a quarter of earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world. Due to the young age and high fertilit
Elections in France
France is a representative democracy. Public officials in the legislative and executive branches are either elected by the citizens or appointed by elected officials. Referendums may be called to consult the French citizenry directly on a particular question one which concerns amendment to the Constitution. France elects on its national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature; the president is elected for a five-year term, directly by the citizens. The Parliament has two chambers; the National Assembly has 577 members, elected for a five-year term in single seat-constituencies directly by the citizens. The Senate has 348 members, elected for six-year terms. 328 members are elected by an electoral college consisting of elected representatives from each of 96 departments in metropolitan France, 8 of which are elected from other dependencies, 12 of which are elected by the French Assembly of French Citizens Abroad which has replaced the High Council of French Citizens Abroad a 155-member assembly elected by citizens living abroad.
In addition, French citizens elect a variety of local governments. There are public elections for some non-political positions, such as those for the judges of courts administering labour law, elected by workers and employers, or those for judges administering cases of rural land leases. France does not have a fully-fledged two-party system; however French politics has ordinarily displayed some tendencies characterizing a two-party system in which power alternates between stable coalitions, each being led by a major party: on the left, the Socialist Party, on the right, Les Républicains and its predecessors. This pattern was upset in 2017, when neither of those parties' candidates reached the second round of the presidential election and the newly-formed party En Marche! gained both the presidency and a comfortable majority in the National Assembly. Elections are conducted according to rules set down in the Constitution of France, organisational laws, the electoral code. Voting is not compulsory.
Elections are held on Sundays. The campaigns end at midnight the Friday before the election; the voting stations open at 8 am and close at 6 pm in small towns or at 8 pm in cities, depending on prefectoral decisions. By law, publication of results or estimates is prohibited prior to that time; the first estimate of the results are thus known at 8 pm, Paris time. It has been alleged. For this reason, since the 2000s, elections in French possessions in the Americas, as well as embassies and consulates there, are held on Saturdays as a special exemption; the next election will take place in 2022. Current President Emmanuel Macron is eligible for re-election in that year. With the exception of senatorial election, for which there is an electoral college, the voters are French citizens over the age of 18 registered on the electoral rolls. People are automatically registered on reaching the age of 18. For municipal and European, but not national elections, citizens aged 18 or older of other European Union countries may vote in France.
Registration is not compulsory. Citizens may register either in their place of residence or in a place where they have been on the roll of taxpayers for local taxes for at least 5 years, but not in more than one place. Citizens living abroad may register at the consulate responsible for the region. Only citizens registered as voters can run for public office. There are exceptions to the above rules. Convicted criminals may be deprived of their civic rights, which include the right to vote, for a certain period of time depending on the crime. In particular, elected officials who have abused public funds may be deprived of the right to run for national public office for as long as 10 years; the application of such rules in the case of certain politicians has been controversial. Voting by proxy is possible when the citizen cannot attend the polling station The citizen designates a proxy, who must be a voter from the same commune; the designation of the proxy must be made before a capable witness: a judge, a judicial clerk, or an officier of judicial police, or, outside France, before an ambassador or consul.
In the case of handicapped or ill people, an officer of judicial police or delegate thereof can be sent to the home of the citizen to witness the designation. The procedure is meant to avoid pressures on voters. In all elections where there is a single official to be elected for a given area, including the two major national elections, two-round runoff voting is used. For elections to the European Parliament and some local elect
A political spectrum is a system of classifying different political positions upon one or more geometric axes that represent independent political dimensions. Most long-standing spectra include a left wing, which referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament after the Revolution. On a left–right spectrum and socialism are regarded internationally as being on the left, Liberalism can mean different things in different contexts: sometimes on the left; those with an intermediate outlook are sometimes classified as centrists. That said and neoliberals are called centrists too. Politics that rejects the conventional left–right spectrum is known as syncretic politics, though the label tends to mischaracterize positions that have a logical location on a two-axis spectrum because they seem randomly brought together on a one-axis left-right spectrum. Political scientists have noted that a single left–right axis is insufficient for describing the existing variation in political beliefs and include other axes.
Though the descriptive words at polar opposites may vary in popular biaxial spectra the axes are split between socio-cultural issues and economic issues, each scaling from some form of individualism to some form of communitarianism. The terms right and left refer to political affiliations originating early in the French Revolutionary era of 1789–1799 and referred to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France; as seen from the Speaker's seat at the front of the Assembly, the aristocracy sat on the right and the commoners sat on the left, hence the terms right-wing politics and left-wing politics. The defining point on the ideological spectrum was the Ancien Régime. "The Right" thus implied support for aristocratic or royal interests and the church, while "The Left" implied support for republicanism and civil liberties. Because the political franchise at the start of the revolution was narrow, the original "Left" represented the interests of the bourgeoisie, the rising capitalist class.
Support for laissez-faire commerce and free markets were expressed by politicians sitting on the left because these represented policies favorable to capitalists rather than to the aristocracy, but outside parliamentary politics these views are characterized as being on the Right. The reason for this apparent contradiction lies in the fact that those "to the left" of the parliamentary left, outside official parliamentary structures represent much of the working class, poor peasantry and the unemployed, their political interests in the French Revolution lay with opposition to the aristocracy and so they found themselves allied with the early capitalists. However, this did not mean that their economic interests lay with the laissez-faire policies of those representing them politically; as capitalist economies developed, the aristocracy became less relevant and were replaced by capitalist representatives. The size of the working class increased as capitalism expanded and began to find expression through trade unionist, socialist and communist politics rather than being confined to the capitalist policies expressed by the original "left".
This evolution has pulled parliamentary politicians away from laissez-faire economic policies, although this has happened to different degrees in different countries those with a history of issues with more authoritarian-left countries, such as the Soviet Union or China under Mao Zedong. Thus the word "Left" in American political parlance may refer to "liberalism" and be identified with the Democratic Party, whereas in a country such as France these positions would be regarded as more right-wing, or centrist overall, "left" is more to refer to "socialist" or "social-democratic" positions rather than "liberal" ones. For a century, social scientists have considered the problem of how best to describe political variation. In 1950, Leonard W. Ferguson analyzed political values using ten scales measuring attitudes toward: birth control, capital punishment, communism, law, theism, treatment of criminals and war. Submitting the results to factor analysis, he was able to identify three factors, which he named religionism and nationalism.
He defined religionism as belief in God and negative attitudes toward birth control. This system was derived empirically, as rather than devising a political model on purely theoretical grounds and testing it, Ferguson's research was exploratory; as a result of this method, care must be taken in the interpretation of Ferguson's three factors, as factor analysis will output an abstract factor whether an objectively real factor exists or not. Although replication of the nationalism factor was inconsistent, the finding of religionism and humanitarianism had a number of replications by Ferguson and others. Shortly afterward, Hans Eysenck began researching political attitudes in Great Britain, he believed that there was something similar about the National Socialists on the one hand and the communists on the other, despite their opposite positions on the left–right axis. As Hans Eysenck described in his 1956 book Sense and
Blue is one of the three primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory, as well as in the RGB colour model. It lies between green on the spectrum of visible light; the eye perceives blue when observing light with a dominant wavelength between 450 and 495 nanometres. Most blues contain a slight mixture of other colours; the clear daytime sky and the deep sea appear blue because of an optical effect known as Rayleigh scattering. An optical effect called. Distant objects appear. Blue has been an important colour in decoration since ancient times; the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli was used in ancient Egypt for jewellery and ornament and in the Renaissance, to make the pigment ultramarine, the most expensive of all pigments. In the eighth century Chinese artists used cobalt blue to white porcelain. In the Middle Ages, European artists used it in the windows of Cathedrals. Europeans wore clothing coloured with the vegetable dye woad until it was replaced by the finer indigo from America.
In the 19th century, synthetic blue dyes and pigments replaced mineral pigments and synthetic dyes. Dark blue became a common colour for military uniforms and in the late 20th century, for business suits; because blue has been associated with harmony, it was chosen as the colour of the flags of the United Nations and the European Union. Surveys in the US and Europe show that blue is the colour most associated with harmony, confidence, infinity, the imagination and sometimes with sadness. In US and European public opinion polls it is the most popular colour, chosen by half of both men and women as their favourite colour; the same surveys showed that blue was the colour most associated with the masculine, just ahead of black, was the colour most associated with intelligence, knowledge and concentration. Blue is the colour of light between green on the visible spectrum. Hues of blue include ultramarine, closer to violet. Blue varies in shade or tint. Darker shades of blue include ultramarine, cobalt blue, navy blue, Prussian blue.
Blue pigments were made from minerals such as lapis lazuli and azurite, blue dyes were made from plants. Today most blue dyes are made by a chemical process; the modern English word blue comes from Middle English bleu or blewe, from the Old French bleu, a word of Germanic origin, related to the Old High German word blao. In heraldry, the word azure is used for blue. In Russian and some other languages, there is no single word for blue, but rather different words for light blue and dark blue. See Colour term. Several languages, including Japanese, Thai and Lakota Sioux, use the same word to describe blue and green. For example, in Vietnamese the colour of both tree leaves and the sky is xanh. In Japanese, the word for blue is used for colours that English speakers would refer to as green, such as the colour of a traffic signal meaning "go". Linguistic research indicates. Colour names developed individually in natural languages beginning with black and white, adding red, only much – as the last main category of colour accepted in a language – adding the colour blue when blue pigments could be manufactured reliably in the culture using that language.
Human eyes perceive blue when observing light which has a dominant wavelength of 450–495 nanometres. Blues with a higher frequency and thus a shorter wavelength look more violet, while those with a lower frequency and a longer wavelength appear more green. Pure blue, in the middle, has a wavelength of 470 nanometres. Isaac Newton included blue as one of the seven colours in his first description the visible spectrum, He chose seven colours because, the number of notes in the musical scale, which he believed was related to the optical spectrum, he included indigo, the hue between blue and violet, as one of the separate colours, though today it is considered a hue of blue. In painting and traditional colour theory, blue is one of the three primary colours of pigments, which can be mixed to form a wide gamut of colours. Red and blue mixed together form violet and yellow together form green. Mixing all three primary colours together produces a dark grey. From the Renaissance onwards, painters used this system to create their colours.
The RYB model was used for colour printing by Jacob Christoph Le Blon as early as 1725. Printers discovered that more accurate colours could be created by using combinations of magenta, cyan and black ink, put onto separate inked plates and overlaid one at a time onto paper; this method could produce all the colours in the spectrum with reasonable accuracy. In the 19th century the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell found a new way of explaining colours, by the wa
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, hierarchy and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as religion, parliamentary government, property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity; the more extreme elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were". The first established use of the term in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. Associated with right-wing politics, the term has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time, thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues.
Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in Great Britain in the 1790s. According to Quintin Hogg, the chairman of the British Conservative Party in 1959: "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself". In contrast to the tradition-based definition of conservatism, some political theorists such as Corey Robin define conservatism in terms of a general defense of social and economic inequality. From this perspective, conservatism is less an attempt to uphold traditional institutions and more, "a meditation on—and theoretical rendition of—the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, trying to win it back". Liberal conservatism incorporates the classical liberal view of minimal government intervention in the economy.
Individuals should be free to participate in the market and generate wealth without government interference. However, individuals cannot be depended on to act responsibly in other spheres of life, therefore liberal conservatives believe that a strong state is necessary to ensure law and order and social institutions are needed to nurture a sense of duty and responsibility to the nation. Liberal conservatism is a variant of conservatism, influenced by liberal stances; as these latter two terms have had different meanings over time and across countries, liberal conservatism has a wide variety of meanings. The term referred to the combination of economic liberalism, which champions laissez-faire markets, with the classical conservatism concern for established tradition, respect for authority and religious values, it contrasted itself with classical liberalism, which supported freedom for the individual in both the economic and social spheres. Over time, the general conservative ideology in many countries adopted economic liberal arguments and the term liberal conservatism was replaced with conservatism.
This is the case in countries where liberal economic ideas have been the tradition such as the United States and are thus considered conservative. In other countries where liberal conservative movements have entered the political mainstream, such as Italy and Spain, the terms liberal and conservative may be synonymous; the liberal conservative tradition in the United States combines the economic individualism of the classical liberals with a Burkean form of conservatism. A secondary meaning for the term liberal conservatism that has developed in Europe is a combination of more modern conservative views with those of social liberalism; this has developed as an opposition to the more collectivist views of socialism. This involves stressing what are now conservative views of free market economics and belief in individual responsibility, with social liberal views on defence of civil rights and support for a limited welfare state. In continental Europe, this is sometimes translated into English as social conservatism.
Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism that combines liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or more the right-wing of the liberal movement. The roots of conservative liberalism are found at the beginning of the history of liberalism; until the two World Wars, in most European countries the political class was formed by conservative liberals, from Germany to Italy. Events after World War I brought the more radical version of classical liberalism to a more conservative type of liberalism. Libertarian conservatism describes certain political ideologies within the United States and Canada which combine libertarian economic issues with aspects of conservatism, its four main branches are constitutionalism, paleolibertarianism, small government conservatism and Christian libertarianism. They differ from paleoconservatives, in that they are in favor of more personal and economic freedom. Agorists such as Samuel Edward Konkin III labeled libertarian conservatism right-libertarianism.
In contrast to paleoconservatives, libertarian conservatives support strict laissez-faire policies such as free trade, opposition to any national bank and opposition to business regulations. They are vehemently opposed to environmental regulations, corporate welfare and other areas of economic intervention. Many conservatives in the United States, be
Politics of France
The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the French Fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an "indivisible, secular and social Republic"; the constitution provides for a separation of powers and proclaims France's "attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789." The political system of France consists of an executive branch, a legislative branch, a judicial branch. Executive power is exercised by the President of the Government; the Government consists of ministers. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, is responsible to Parliament; the government, including the Prime Minister, can be revoked by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, through a "censure motion". Parliament comprises the Senate, it passes votes on the budget. The constitutionality of the statutes is checked by the Constitutional Council, members of which are appointed by the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate.
Former presidents of the Republic are members of the Council. The independent judiciary is based upon civil law system, it is divided into the judicial branch and the administrative branch, each with their own independent supreme court of appeal: the Court of Cassation for the judicial courts and the Conseil d'Etat for the administrative courts. The French government includes various bodies. France is a unitary state. However, its administrative subdivisions—regions and communes—have various legal functions, the national government is prohibited from intruding into their normal operations. France was a founding member of the European Coal and Steel Community the European Union; as such, France has transferred part of its sovereignty to European institutions, as provided by its constitution. The French government therefore has to abide by European treaties and regulations; the Economist Intelligence Unit has described France as a "flawed democracy" in 2018. A popular referendum approved the constitution of the French Fifth Republic in 1958 strengthening the authority of the presidency and the executive with respect to Parliament.
The constitution does not contain a bill of rights in itself, but its preamble mentions that France should follow the principles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, as well as those of the preamble to the constitution of the Fourth Republic. This has been judged to imply that the principles laid forth in those texts have constitutional value, that legislation infringing on those principles should be found unconstitutional if a recourse is filed before the Constitutional Council. Recent modifications of the Constitution have added a reference in the preamble to an Environment charter that has full constitutional value, a right for citizens to contest the constitutionality of a statute before the Constitutional Council; the foundational principles of the constitution include: the equality of all citizens before law, the rejection of special class privileges such as those that existed prior to the French Revolution. France has a semi-presidential system of government, with both a Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister is responsible to the French Parliament. A presidential candidate is required to obtain a nationwide majority of non-blank votes at either the first or second round of balloting, which implies that the President is somewhat supported by at least half of the voting population; as a consequence, the President of France is the pre-eminent figure in French politics. He appoints the Prime Minister. Though the President may not de jure dismiss the prime Minister if the Prime Minister is from the same political side, he can, in practice, have him resign on demand, he appoints the ministers, ministers-delegate and secretaries. When the President's political party or supporters control parliament, the President is the dominant player in executive action, choosing whomever he wishes for the government, having it follow his political agenda. However, when the President's political opponents control parliament, the President's dominance can be limited, as he must choose a Prime Minister and government who reflect the majority in parliament, who will implement the agenda of the parliamentary majority.
When parties from opposite ends of the political spectrum control parliament and the presidency, the power-sharing arrangement is known as cohabitation. Before 2002, cohabitation occurred more because the term of the President was seven years and the term of the National Assembly was five years. With the term of the President shortened to five years, with the presidential and parliamentary elections separated by only a few months, this