From one of our France student bloggers, this post is on France’s current (pre-2012 election) super coalition government.
Right now, France’s Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) political party is reigning strong. Not only is the UMP the political party of current President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister François Fillon, it also takes up the majority of seats in the National Assembly.
Looking specifically at France’s Cabinet, called le Gouvernement, there are 32 ministres (Ministers) under the Premier ministre François Fillon and the UMP holds the majority here as well. Besides the ministers, there are the Deputy Ministers (ministres délégués) and the Secretaries of State (secrétaires d’Etat).
The UMP, Nouveau Centre (NC), and Mouvement pour la France (MPF) make up France’s current coalition government. The most powerful players are the members of the UMP as they are allied with the President and Prime Minister. This coalition is centre-right, with the liberal conservative UMP, the centrist NC, and the national conservative NPF. (For more information, check out my post about France’s political parties here).
Looking at the numbers, the UMP holds 313 seats, or 39.5% of seats in the National Assembly. Next is the NC who holds 22 seats, or 2.4% of seats, and then the MPF who holds only 1 seat, or 1.2% of seats. The total percent of the coalition is 58% of the house.
Since the UMP holds more than 50% + 1 in the National Assembly and could govern on their own, they have an oversized coalition. This means that the minority has less power, not that this matters that much because of the amount of power held by the President.
The last legislative election was in 2007, so perhaps things change in this year’s upcoming elections. Until then, though, the UMP is staying strong.
“Composition du Gouvernement.” Portail du Gouvernement. 2009. http://www.gouvernement.fr/gouvernement/composition-du-gouvernement Accessed 22 March 2012.
Crepaz, Markus M. & Steiner, Jürg. European Democracies, Edition No. 7. 2011. Longman: Boston.
Edmiston, William F. & Annie Duménil. La France Contemporaine, Fourth Edition. 2010. HeinleCengage Learning: Boston.
“France.” Parties and Elections in Europe. 2012. http://www.parties-and-elections.de/france.html Accessed 22 March 2012