Dictionnaire Constitutionnel

Authors: Duhamel & Mény
Summary: In about 500 words, the entry defines both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary opposition referring to the French case. The concept is related - in democratic regimes - to that part of the parliament that disagrees with the government. Parliamentary opposition by definition uses parliament as its privileged means of expression, since its function is acknowledged and regulated by statute as a safeguard for minorities and their right to speak and amend. By contrast, extra-parliamentary opposition can seldom participate to the political debate having no representation in parliament, using the media or sparking off violence.
The French system offers wide ranging guarantees both because it allows the proportional endorsement of certain appointments and because it guarantees to several political groups equal access to media. The goal is to curb power disparity between majority and minority.