François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande (French: [fʁɑ̃swa ʒeʁaʁ ʒɔʁʒ nikɔla ɔlɑ̃d] (listen); born 12 August 1954) is a French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 2012 to 2017. He was previously the First Secretary of the Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008, Mayor of Tulle from 2001 to 2008, and President of the Corrèze General Council from 2008 to 2012. Hollande also served in the National Assembly of France twice for the department of Corrèze’s 1st constituency from 1988 to 1993, and again from 1997 to 2012.
Born in Rouen and raised in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hollande began his political career as a special advisor to newly elected President François Mitterrand, before serving as a staffer for Max Gallo, the government’s spokesman. He became a member of the National Assembly in 1988 and was elected First Secretary of the Socialist Party in 1997. Following the 2004 regional elections won by the Socialists, Hollande was cited as a potential presidential candidate, but resigned as First Secretary and was immediately elected to replace Jean-Pierre Dupont as President of the General Council of Corrèze in 2008. In 2011, Hollande announced that he would be a candidate in the primary election to select the Socialist Party presidential nominee; he won the nomination and was elected President of France on 6 May 2012 during the second round of voting with 51.6% of the vote against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
During his tenure, Hollande legalised same-sex marriage by passing Bill no. 344, reformed labour laws and credit training programmes, withdrew French combat troops present in the Afghanistan military intervention and concluded a EU directive through a Franco-German contract. Hollande led the country through the January and November 2015 Paris and 2016 Nice attacks. He was a leading proponent of EU mandatory migrant quotas and NATO’s 2011 military intervention in Libya. He also sent troops to Mali and the Central African Republic with the approval of the UN Security Council in order to stabilise those countries, two operations largely seen as successful. However his support of the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen drew controversy among his left-wing electoral basis. Under his term, France also became the most toured country in the world, and known as a nation of open markets, regulatory efficiency, rule of law and limited governmental intervention. Paris hosted the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference and Hollande’s efforts to attract the 2024 Summer Olympics to the city were successful.
Notwithstanding, with unemployment up to 10% and domestic troubles over his tenure due to terrorism, he faced spikes and downturns in approval rates, ultimately making him the most unpopular French President under the Fifth Republic. On 1 December 2016, he announced he would not seek re-election in the 2017 French presidential election, for which polls announced his defeat in the first round.