The Mitterrand Legacy

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Elected President in 1981, triumphantly re-elected in 1988, Francois Mitterrand was largely absent from the 1995 presidential campaign. It was notable that, in accordance with Gaullist tradition, Mitterrand refused to apologise for the crimes of the Vichy state ‘in the name of the Republic’: the President stuck to the argument that, because the Vichy state had ‘killed’ the Republic in 1940, it was not for the Republic to apologise for the acts of an illegal regime. The controversy occasioned by the Pean ‘revelations’, along with the hopeless balance of political power after the March 1993 elections, combined to reduce Mitterrand’s policy input during the second period of ‘cohabitation’, a period during which the Fourth President of the Fifth Republic attempted to prepare an honourable exit. The chapter discusses the personal contribution of Francois Mitterrand to French politics with the systemic and policy evolution of the French Fifth Republic during the period 1981–1995.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrench Presidentialism and the Election of 1995
EditorsJohn Gaffney, Lorna Milne
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAshgate Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780429455650
ISBN (Print)9781138316447, 9781138316454
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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