It was revealed in Chapter 2 how Mitterrand's notoriety in the early Fifth Republic stemmed largely from his determined opposition to the creation of the new regime, a stance eloquently expressed in his 1964 work Le Coup d'etat permanent.1 The consistency with which Mitterrand criticised 'personal power' was impressive. The leitmotif of his Le coup d'etat permanent in 1964, the same theme reappeared fifteen years later on the eve of Mitterrand's election:

It appears to us to be dangerous that the President of the Republic should concentrate the totality of powers within his hands, as is the case today. It would be even more dangerous if such a situation were to last indefinitely. We are no longer exactly in a Republic.2