- Fifth Republic
the republic established in France in 1958, the successor to the Fourth Republic.
* * *System of government in France from 1959 to the present.Under the constitution crafted by Charles de Gaulle with the help of Michel Debre, executive power was increased at the expense of the National Assembly. It came into being in 1959 after de Gaulle was elected president, with Debré as his prime minister. In 1962 de Gaulle pushed through a constitutional amendment that provided for direct popular election of the president, and in 1965 he became the first French president elected by popular vote since 1848. He was succeeded by Georges Pompidou (1969–74), Valery Giscard d'Estaing (1974–81), Francois Mitterrand (1981–95), and Jacques Chirac (from 1995).
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