Unique Presidential Election – Zia

TheThe presidential election every five years around this time is the most important event on the French political calendar. In them, the head of the most important institution of the political system of the French Fifth Republic is directly elected by the citizens as a whole, establishing a presidential system with very special characteristics whose validity, in its essential features, has been preserved throughout the six and a half decades since its founding (1958). Since then, eight presidents have succeeded each other as head of state in France, and throughout this period they have established the presidential institution as the centerpiece and main center of the French institutional system, which explains the political importance of all presidential elections in France.

Presidential elections in France have distinct characteristics (as well as the institutional composition of the Presidency of the Republic) compared to other countries in terms of access to the head of state. The first of them, the double-round system, which is a distinctive feature of the French electoral system, was later included in the electoral systems of other countries and which also has a following among us. According to this system, it is necessary to wait for the second round, in which only the two candidates who obtained the largest number of votes in the first round are present, to find out who is the President of the Republic; This may not be the one who got the most votes in the first round, although that hasn’t been the case yet. This method, according to its proponents, allows to combine the plurality of all political options, expressed in the first round, with a clear presidential majority, manifested in the second round.

To this characteristic feature of the double round in the French elections, we must add another, no less distinctive feature of the presidential election in particular, which is rarely mentioned in electoral analyzes and commentaries and which, however, is the key to being able to understand it. Correctly the French presidential election process as a whole. It is after the second round and the proclamation of the President of the Republic (in May), immediately after (in June) that elections must be held for the National Assembly, the composition of which is decisive in knowing the orientations of the new French executive. The fact that, according to French constitutional design and political practice, this is a presidential executive whose prime minister is directly appointed by the President of the Republic, should not hide the fact that it must take into account the composition of the National Assembly. Assembly to form an executive body that can function effectively with sufficient stability.

This situation, which establishes a temporary succession link between the two presidential rounds and the National Assembly elections, gave rise to the expression “third round” in French political terminology, referring to the fact that the presidential electoral process does not end definitively until after the National Assembly elections are held after the second presidential round. In this way, a de facto link arises between the presidential elections and the elections to the National Assembly, immediately afterwards; Which does not pose any problem if there is a clear and simultaneous majority in the presidency and the National Party, as has happened up to now; But if this does not happen and the formation of the National Assembly makes it difficult to form a parliamentary majority in harmony with the presidency, as might happen in the light of current expectations, depending on the composition of AN, coexistence Particularly complex and problematic.

But sticking to this first round of presidential elections, the first comment that must be made is that the results shown by the ballot boxes cannot be said to imply substantial changes with respect to those previous elections, at least with respect to the major political formations, which remain the same and in the same order , with slight differences, as in 2017. In fact, the LREM (La Republica en Marcha, the party of current President y Macron) repeats as the first political formation with 27.8% (24.01%) since five years ago). Likewise, the Resemblement National, led by Marine Le Pen, repeats itself as the second political force, and its votes have increased slightly (23.15% compared to 21.3% in 2017). Likewise, the nomination headed by J.L. Melenchon, also with a slight increase in votes (21.95%, versus 19.58% in 2017).

Larger changes can be seen in the formations that until the previous elections of 2017 were dominant in the political life of the Fifth Republic. In this sense, with respect to the party which, under various acronyms and denominations—UNR, UDR, RPR, UMP, currently L.R. Los Republicanos—was the party that had the greatest role under the Fifth Republic, was eliminated in the first round (as in the previous elections of 2017) but increased its decline, getting the worst results in its history: 4.8%, compared to 20.01% in 2017. PSF results were much worse, not even reaching 2% of the vote. It remains to be seen, either way, given the inappropriateness of his electoral support in this first round and his exclusion from the second, if in third round They can gain a foothold in the National Assembly that will allow them to go through the recovery process over the next five years.

It is interesting to review this data from the recent election results because although the first round is not helpful in electing the president (and it should not be assumed that whoever gets the most votes in the first round will be the future president), the first round provides an X-ray. The country’s political body is more accurate than any other electoral advisory. Likewise, it is interesting to draw attention to the fact that this X-ray of the electoral political body serves to verify that some very important constants have been preserved on the French political map, such as the fact that the three main political options have been unified. , even saw a slight upward divergence, while the two that were the backbone of the political system of the Fifth Republic confirmed their decline, although this time it was more pronounced.

It is too early to say whether the French political map has undergone a definitive change in which the two main political formations of the past four decades disappear from the political scene or, on the contrary, is a temporary arc until the reconfiguration of what existed until 2017, albeit in new forms . In any case, what seems certain is that the dissolution of the three formations – Macron’s Republic on the way, Ressemblement National Le Pen Le Pen and France Insumisa of Mélenchon – which in these last elections (2017 and 2022) have dissolved into the two formations – PSF and LR presents – Who has been rotating the presidency, in successive governments and parliamentary majority in the National Assembly, a series of new factors in the political dynamics of the Fifth Republic that put us in a scenario fundamentally different from the usual hitherto.

As we said in the previous paragraphs, we need to know what results will be not only in the second round, next Sunday, but also in third round, in June, to see the formation of the National Assembly and thus to be able to achieve the final balance for the presidential elections. Whatever the results, the fact that can already be verified are the transformations that the French political map is undergoing in this last period (2017-2022), which is undoubtedly the most important in more than six decades of the life of the Fifth Republic. What is difficult to predict at this time is what will be the development of events in the coming period that opens after these elections, especially with regard to the reshaping of the political and institutional map and the consolidation of expectations or lack of political change that was highlighted in the last presidential elections (2017 and 2022). * Teacher

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