ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Deal in France

New Deal in France Alice Thorner THE election on May 10 of the Socialist candidate, Francois Mitte- rand, may well prove to be a turning point in French political history. Mitterand becomes the first leftwing president of the Fifth Republic, the state set up by General de Gaulle after his return to power by coup in 1958. Constitutionally the president is directly responsible for policy; it is he who names the members of the cabinet as well as the prime minister. The socialist victory shows for the first time that alternation is possible in the current French framework. Many had come to doubt the possibility that the conservatives, under one name or another (Gaullists, Centrists, Republicans), could ever be dislodged. This is one of the reasons why the jubilation on the left and, indeed, on the part of many not committed to either the Socialist or Communist position, was particularly heartfelt.

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