François Mitterrand  

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François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand (26 October 1916 - 8 January 1996) served as President of France from 1981 to 1995, elected as representative of the Socialist Party (PS). First elected during the May 1981 presidential election, he became the first socialist president of the Fifth Republic and the first left-wing head of state since 1957. He is to date the only member of the Socialist Party to be elected President of France. He was re-elected in 1988 and held office until 1995, before his death from prostate cancer the following year. During each of his two terms, he dissolved the Parliament after his election to have a majority during the first five years of his term, and then each time his party lost the next legislative elections. He was consequently forced to "cohabit" during the two last years of each of his terms with conservative cabinets. They were led by Jacques Chirac from 1986 until 1988, and Édouard Balladur from 1993 to 1995.

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