After all the criticism he expressed during his campaign, FranĂ§ois Hollande is not likely to adopt Nicolas Sarkozyâ€™s omnipresent style of governance but he wonâ€™t adopt Jacques Chiracâ€™s distant style either.
With the election of FranĂ§ois Hollande as Franceâ€™s new President and the appointment of Jean-Marc Ayrault as Prime Minister, a new era has begun in the relations between the President and the Prime Minister.
For FranĂ§ois Hollande, the Prime Minister is not a mere â€śassistantâ€ť: it is a return to the spirit of the Vth Republic, at least in appearance… The reality could nevertheless be quite different.
A return to â€śnormalcyâ€ť seems nearly impossible for three main reasons:
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Politically speaking, first: the five-year term and the inversion of the presidential and legislative elections turned the presidential election into the main landmark. It now gives rhythm to the political life of the country, crystallizes all the expectations and attracts the spotlights: it is the time of the President.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â From a technical perspective, then: the new teams of the Prime Minister and of the President are composed of experienced advisors. A new balance of power within the executive could thus be stricken.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Concerning media exposure, finally: the â€śhyper presidencyâ€ť was seen and felt this way because of the parallel hyper media-coverage of political life, reinforced by the arrival of TV news channel s and the rise of social networks.
While some deplored the omnipresence of former President Sarkozy, others – but usually the same ones – used to criticize the distance and passivity of his predecessors. It is a reality the new president will face.