France: Pres. Hollande Blocked on Permanent State of Emergency Constitution Amendments*
The people of France have finally had a win. President François Hollande has renounced his decision to amend the constitution with a permanent State of Emergency and Deprivation of Nationality laws.
“After the terrible attacks of 13 November, I addressed the Congress in Versailles and I presented to Parliament the decisions that I felt needed to be taken against terrorism,” said president Hollande during his announcement to renounce the reforms he proposed to parliament.
During the hot debate in Congress, the president wanted to remind those who opposed him of the measures taken thus far, to protect the people, warning the right wing, who blocked the amendments.
“The state of emergency and the commitments that have been taken to increase police resources, the gendarmerie, the army, the police and customs prison administration and customs…” suggesting the right wing have voted against their own nation’s safety.
For 24 hours, politicians stood to address the limited amendment of Article 1 (State of Emergency laws) and Article 2, which would see a deprivation of nationality laws concerning dual nationals. Several members of the Republicans (the LR Group) and chairman of the Judiciary Committee Philippe Bas have repeated to the media that “the creation of stateless persons is a red line not to cross.”
President Hollande made his position clear.
“Since the state of emergency was introduced and was extended twice until May. It shows its effectiveness even if it cannot be a permanent condition. This is why a bill is being discussed right now in Parliament to strengthen the legal instruments, tools, available to the judiciary and security forces to prevent and suppress terrorist acts,” he said in context of the war against “Daesh” that “requires a national response to the height of the dangers we face.”
But the people of France haven’t shared the same sentiment, not the right wing conservatives who halted the amendment in its tracks. The President’s call to deprive terrorists of their French nationality also applied to those arrested for lesser charges of any nature, with little or no legal recourse entered into. It led to the resignation of Christiane Taubira, a seasoned Justice Minister, and heated protest.
The deprivation of nationality measure, critics said, would end in a division of those who were “pure” French and those of mixed backgrounds.
The state of emergency, to be permanently embedded into the French constitution, meant something more: The French people renouncing their rights to liberty, equality and fraternity. It would give “special powers to security services and police to act without judges’ approval or judicial oversight, carry out raids, and place people under house arrest,” reported The Guardian.
The sacrosanct constitution amendments would require a minimum three-fifths of Congress backing. The Congress, in France, consists of the National Assembly and the Senate meeting at the Palace of Versailles to revise constitution amendments.
“It’s my duty and it’s my responsibility. I will assume all the way and with the necessary force.” Declared President Hollande at a press conference yesterday, after the weekly, Ministers council, at Elysee. Although Hollande has “decided to end the constitutional debate,” he may have other matters on his mind.