Rocard, Michel Louis Léon

Rocard, Michel Louis Léon, 1930–2016, French political leader. After studying at the École Nationale d'Administration and the Institut d'Études Politiques, he joined the civil service. He led the Unified Socialist party, was active in the 1968 student demonstrations, and won a small percentage of the 1969 presidential vote. In 1974, he supported François Mitterrand for the presidency and later merged his party with the new Socialist party despite their mutual personal contempt for each other. In Mitterrand's government, he held several ministerial appointments, but resigned in 1985 over a disagreement concerning a proposal for proportional representation made by the government of Laurent Fabius. In 1988 he became premier. The pragmatic reformer was criticized by the left for moving to the right economically, but he also oversaw the adoption of a guaranteed mininum income. In May, 1991, he was replaced by Edith Cresson. Rocard served as head of the Socialist party from 1993 to 1994.

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