In Paris on Monday (3 April), the French National Assembly met for the first time since the recent election.
In Paris on Monday (3 April), the French National Assembly met for the first time since the recent election. One of their first tasks was to elect a new president, and the Mayor of Bordeaux, Jacques Chaban-Delmas, won the election defeating the official Gaullist candidate, Edgar Faure. Observers say that the election of Monsieur Chaban-Delmas, who is a supporter of President Giscard d'Estaing, strengthens the position of the French president.
SYNOPSIS: This was the sixth National Assembly to be formed since the creation of the Fifth Republic. According to observers, it is very different in character and composition from its predecessor elected under President Pompidou in 1973. They describe it as a Giscardian assembly.... one dominated by supporters of the French President. They also point to the unprecedented number of younger faces. The youngest member is 27 and many are under 40.
The Gaullists, however, led by Jacques Chirac, are still the largest single party in the Assembly which opened with industrial magnate Marcel Dassault taking the chair. Monsieur Dassault, reputedly the richest man in France, was exercising his right as the oldest member, to preside over the election of a new Assembly president. Before doing so he made an inaugural speech calling for a wealth tax to encourage industrial investment.
Monsieur Dassault's speech was boycotted by Socialist and Left Radical members who stayed outside the chamber. But they returned for the election of the Assembly president. Left-wing candidates, however, stood little chance and the most votes went to Jacques Chaban-Delmas.