Yesterday, the French parliament approved changes to that country’s constitution by the narrowest of possible margins. The amendments are described in the International Herald Tribune story:
Under the French Constitution, tailored for the presidency of Charles de Gaulle, the French head of state has vast powers, including the right to nominate the prime minister, dissolve the National Assembly and set the voting agenda. François Mitterrand, the late Socialist president, famously referred to it as a “permanent coup d’état.”
Sarkozy’s overhaul – the most sweeping change in half a century – allows the president to address Parliament directly, a privilege he does not have now. But it also sets a two-term limit for the head of state and curtails the ability of governments to impose legislation by decree.
Lawmakers will be given greater oversight in important presidential appointments, more control over emergency powers and the right to set half of their voting agenda. They have to be informed about any overseas troop deployment, and can veto any deployment lasting more than four months.
On peut trouver les détails des changements dans cet article de Le Monde.