Macron Jupiter
Faced with potential governmental deadlock after the July 7th general election results in France, Emmanuel Macron could resign, but he has a second option: to resort to Article 16 of the French Constitution, which would give him full autocratic powers. According to inside sources, Macron has discussed this possibility with several people close to him. The Élysée Palace has, however, denied this.

There are two conditions for activating Article 16 of the Constitution: a threat of an insurrection that is likely to call into question the "integrity of the territory", or the interruption of the regular functioning of government authorities. If Macron were to make this decision, he would assume absolute, albeit temporary, power in France.

"If he decides to invoke Article 16, the President is completely free to do so, with no constitutional or legal obstacles or other formalities required of him. After 30 days however, opponents can appeal to the Constitutional Council to have the validity of the invocation of Article 16 recognized or not," explained Anne-Charlène Bezzina, a specialist in the Constitution.

While the Constitution does not stipulate a maximum duration for the exercise of these exceptional powers, only the Constitutional Council can assess, after 60 days, whether its use is still justified. To date, Article 16 has only been used once in the history of France's Fifth Republic: in 1961, by General de Gaulle, after the attempted putsch by the generals.