OPINION

May 26, 1958

FRENCH CRISIS: Paris, 23 – The situation continues to be confused, although a modus vivendi has been established between the two sides and order has prevailed in all parts of the country. Prime Minister Pierre Pflimlin, under pressure from his ruling party’s right wing, is trying to persuade General Charles de Gaulle to accept a mediating role between the government and the rebels. However, de Gaulle has said he is not willing to «pull the chestnuts out of the fire» and is asking the National Assembly and President Rene Coty to give him executive powers without any constitutional restrictions for a period of 18-24 months, promising to give up his mandate once his task and mission is over. Pflimlin is meanwhile making every effort to strengthen his government’s position by means of constitutional reforms, hoping to annihilate de Gaulle, but because of the special majority of three-fifths required to amend the constitution, he is not expected to succeed as he will meet opposition from the Radicals, Socialists and others. Meanwhile the rebels in Algeria are asking for de Gaulle to be given carte blanche powers.