Francois Hollande beat the conservative incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, in May 2012 to become France's first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand held the post from 1981 to 1995.
The standard-bearer of the right wing of the party, Mr Hollande saw off the more left-wing Martine Aubry in public primaries to become his party's presidential candidate.
Despite his reputation as a moderate, Mr Hollande campaigned on strongly left-wing proposals, including a 75% top income tax rate, 60,000 new teachers, and the renegotiation of the European Union fiscal growth pact.
His Socialists went on to won a comfortable majority in the June 2012 parliamentary elections, ensuring that President Hollande would not have to count on far-left or Green votes.
But by the end of 2012, Mr Hollande's economic plans were in trouble, with growth stagnant and the continuing woes of the eurozone promising no relief.
France continued to dip in an out of recession throughout the next year, and Mr Hollande's failure to make good on his promise to reduce unemployment by the end of 2013 left him with the lowest approval rating of any president since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958.
His decision to opt for raising taxes rather than cutting spending - an option unpopular with his natural supporters - has come close to triggering a taxpayers' revolt.
Mr Hollande has also come under pressure from Brussels, with the EU Commission urging France to reduce its budget deficit and bring down public spending - the highest per capita in Europe.
His private life also threatened potential embarrassment after claims of an affair with actress Julie Gayet prompted media questions about his partner Valerie Trierweiler's status as first lady.
On the international stage, Mr Hollande has taken a strong lead in pushing for a more interventionist approach towards shoring up states threatened with destabilisation.
In January 2013, he sent troops to Mali to help government regain control over the north of the country from Islamist militants, and in December he deployed additional peacekeepers to the Central African Republic to help restore order after a rebel takeover.
Born in 1954 in Rouen, Normandy, and a product of the "grandes ecoles" elite education system, Mr Hollande was an economic advisor to President Mitterrand, and became an MP in 1988.
He rose to lead the party in the long years of opposition in 1997-2008, and stood down over a party row about the failed presidential campaign of his long-standing partner, Segolene Royal.
Mr Hollande and Ms Royal later split up over his affair with journalist Valerie Trierweiler, now his partner.
He emerged as the Socialist candidate after the favourite, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, saw his political career collapse in 2011 amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Country name > Conventional long form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
- Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
- Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
- Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
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