François Holland

President of France

François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande born 12 August 1954. Is the 24th President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He previously served as the First Secretary of the French Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008 and as a Deputy of the National Assembly of France for Corrèze's 1st Constituency from 1988 to 1993 and then again from 1997 to 2012. He also served as the Mayor of Tulle from 2001 to 2008 and the President of the General Council of Corrèze from 2008 to 2012.

He was elected President of France on 6 May 2012, defeating the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, and was inaugurated on 15 May. He is the second Socialist President of the Fifth French Republic, after François Mitterrand who served from 1981 to 1995.

Early life and background

Hollande was born in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, to a middle-class family. His mother, Nicole Frédérique Marguerite Tribert (19272009), was a social worker, and his father, Georges Gustave Hollande, an ear, nose, and throat doctor who "had once run for the extreme right in local politics".The surname "Hollande" is "believed to come from Calvinist ancestors who escaped Holland (the Netherlands) in the 16th century and took the name of their old country." Hollande was raised Catholic but quietly rebelled against the strict religious brothers chosen by his father to educate him. The family moved to Neuilly, a suburb of Paris, when Hollande was 13.

Education

He attended Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle boarding school, then HEC Paris, École nationale d'administration, and the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies). He graduated from ENA in 1980. He lived in the United States in the summer of 1974 while he was a university student. Immediately after graduating, he was employed as a councillor in the Court of Audit.

Early political career

After volunteering as a student to work for François Mitterrand's ultimately unsuccessful campaign in the 1974 presidential election, Hollande joined the Socialist Party five years later. He was quickly spotted by Jacques Attali, a senior adviser to Mitterrand, who arranged for Hollande to stand for election to the French National Assembly in 1981 in Corrèze against future President Jacques Chirac, who was then the Leader of the Rally for the Republic, a Neo-Gaullist party. Hollande lost to Chirac in the first round, although he would go on to become a Special Adviser to the newly-elected President Mitterrand, before serving as a staffer for Max Gallo, the government's spokesman. After becoming a Municipal Councillor for Ussel in 1983, he contested Corrèze for a second time in 1988, this time being elected to the National Assembly. Hollande lost his bid for re-election to the National Assembly in the so-called "blue wave" of the 1993 election, described as such due to the number of seats gained by the Right at the expense of the Socialist Party.

President of France

François Hollande was elected President of France on 6 May 2012. He was inaugurated on 15 May, and shortly afterwards appointed Jean-Marc Ayrault to be his Prime Minister. He also appointed Benoît Puga to be his military chief of staff, Pierre-René Lemas as his General Secretary and Pierre Besnard as his Head of Cabinet. On his first official visit to a foreign country in his capacity as President of France, the aeroplane transporting him was hit by lightning. The plane returned safely to Paris where he took another flight to Germany.

 

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