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Facts about politics in France

  • France has changed its form of government nine times since the Revolution which ended King Louis rule in 1789. These have included five republics, two empires and 2 constitutional monarchies.
  • France is now a representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Prime Minister as head of government.
  • Dominique de Villepin is Prime Minister and Nicolas Sarkozy is President, replacing Jacques Chirac who did not seek a third term.
  • France has only had three presidents in the last three decades: Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Francois Mitterrant and Jacques Chirac.
  • French election days are always a Sunday and can take two rounds. If a single winner with a majority is not elected on the first round, then the  candidates with the highest percentage of votes compete in the second round of voting.

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