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“The Fifth Republic is perhaps the worst regime, but with the exception of all others”

The regime created sixty years ago by General de Gaulle provokes many criticisms, but he also survived many crises, recalls in his column Gérard Courtois, editorialist to the “World”.

“The Fifth Republic has never ceased to be harassed by critics and shaken by crises for 60 years. “

Chronic. On Thursday, September 4, 1958, a huge V forty meters high overlooking the Place de la Republique in Paris. It symbolizes at the same time the V of the victory and, in Roman numeral, the new Republic whose Constitution will be subjected to the approval of the French. From the official platform, General de Gaulle does not need to force his talent to denounce “the inconstancy”, “instability” and finally the “paralysis” that led the Fourth Republic – which he then ultimate chairman of the board – in agony, and the country on the verge of “collapse”.

The stake is clear, he insists: “What, for the public authorities, is from now on primordial, it is their effectiveness and their continuity”, “the French nation will flourish or perish according to whether the State will have or will not have enough strength, consistency, prestige, to drive it where it needs to go. ”

On 28 September, the new Constitution is approved by referendum: more than 31 million voters (80% of the votes cast, 66% of the voters) voted yes. The text is promulgated on October 4th. And the building wanted by de Gaulle will be completed in October 1962, with the introduction of the election of the President of the Republic by direct universal suffrage, giving the regime definitively its appearance of republican monarchy.

The longevity of this Republic is remarkable in a country that had demonstrated, until then, an institutional effervescence without equal, experimenting, in the space of two centuries, five republics, two empires, three monarchies and a “French State “… Only the Third Republic, proclaimed in 1870 and which gave up the soul in the debacle of 1940, will have lived longer.

Longevity all the more remarkable that this sexagenarian has never ceased to be harassed by critics and shaken by crises. On September 4, 1958, already, his opponents …

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