Macron calls French presidential term limit ‘bulls**t’

The country’s youngest leader since Napoleon will be legally barred from reelection after his second term expires in 2027

French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned his country’s presidential term limit as “damnable bulls**t,” rejecting a proposal to further restrict presidents to just seven years in office, AFP reported.

Macron reportedly voiced irritation with the law during a 12-hour marathon meeting with party leaders on Wednesday, saying it was “damnable bulls**t that one could not be reelected” following their second five-year term.

The comments came in response to a suggestion to limit French presidents to a single seven-year term, floated by the head of the right-wing National Rally party Jordan Bardella, according to veteran leftist MP Jean-Luc Melenchon and two other participants at the discussions cited by AFP

Taking office in 2017 at the age of 39, and winning reelection last year, Macron is set to complete his second and final term in 2027, when he will become France’s youngest ex-president. Under French law, he would be prohibited from a third presidential bid.

Macron’s allies have also criticized term limits in the past, with former parliamentary speaker Richard Ferrand, a close supporter, declaring in June that they restrict “the expression of the popular will.”

“All of that puts a straightjacket on our public life with rules that limit the free choice of citizens,” he told the Figaro newspaper. “Let’s change it all, while keeping the bicameral system and the Constitutional Council, the guardian of our republican principles and public liberties.”

Ferrand’s proposal was slammed by critics across the political spectrum, however, with both right-wing senator Alain Houpert and socialist leader Mathilde Panot rejecting the idea as authoritarian.

Once a major colonial power, France has regularly urged African leaders to implement and respect term limits in their own countries, though in modern times Paris only adopted similar rules following a 2008 constitutional reform. Before that time, there was no limit on how many terms a president could serve, with elections previously held once every seven years. The French prime minister, meanwhile, is not subject to a formal term limit, and holds office so long they maintain support of the National Assembly. 

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