Coty, René

Coty, René rənā´ kôtē´ [key], 1882–1962, French president (1954–59). From 1923 to 1940 he served in the legislature, first as a deputy and then as a senator. In 1940, when France fell to the Germans, he voted to hand all power to Marshal Pétain. After a wartime spent in retirement, Coty returned to the legislature and in Dec., 1953, was elected president as a compromise candidate. In the crisis over Algeria in May, 1958, he threatened resignation if Charles de Gaulle were not made premier he left office with the creation (1959) of the Fifth Republic.

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