• France's news in English
French MPs vote through post attacks constitution changes
Photo: AFP

French MPs vote through post attacks constitution changes

AFP · 10 Feb 2016, 18:16

Published: 10 Feb 2016 07:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Feb 2016 18:16 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The amendment, including a hotly contested measure to strip convicted terrorists of their French nationality, was passed by the National Assembly with 317 votes for to 199 against, clearing a first hurdle towards adoption.
The package must now gain the support of the Senate, or upper house of parliament, and then three-fifths of the Congress, the body formed when both houses of France's parliament come together to debate revisions to the constitution.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he was satisfied with the result. He said he was "sure" the amendments would receive a majority in the Congress.
The stakes were high for President Francois Hollande, who announced in the emotional aftermath of the shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people in Paris in November that he wanted to revise the constitution to toughen the fight against terror.
If the measures had fallen at the first stage, it could have dealt a fatal blow to Hollande's ambitions of re-election in 2017.
Valls had on Tuesday warned lawmakers from his Socialist Party that voting against the measures would "put the government in difficulty and leave the president in a minority".
The fact that the move to strip terror convicts of their nationality barely scraped through by 162 votes to 148 in a separate vote on Tuesday suggests the collective package faces many more obstacles.
Writing on his Twitter account ahead of Wednesday's vote, right-wing politician Alain Juppe, a former prime minister seen as the frontrunner in next year's presidential election, dismissed the reforms as "pointless" and said they "divide all the parliamentary groups -- to be avoided!"
Cecile Duflot, a member of the green EELV party and a former minister in Hollande's government, urged her fellow MPs to "resist the blackmail" posed by the nationality measure.
Another of the proposed measures would enshrine in the constitution the state of emergency currently in force, giving greater powers to security forces.
Rights groups and left-wing lawmakers say they believe police are abusing the additional powers, rounding up suspects with little proof.
But it is the nationality measure that has deeply divided Hollande's party, notably prompting the resignation of Christiane Taubira as justice minister last month.
Story continues below…
In addition, Hollande's former prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has publicly condemned the proposal.
But the government insists the measures are necessary as France faces a continued high threat from jihadist attack.
Valls said Tuesday the terrorist threat was "without doubt more serious than before November 13".
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage in Paris, saying it was in response to French air strikes against the group in Iraq and Syria.
It was the second time in a year that jihadists had struck at the French capital. In January 2015, gunmen attacked the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

'New migrants arrive in Calais' despite 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available