News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Changes in French constitution sought after Nov. 2015 Islamic attacks approved by lower house of parliament: expanding state of emergency provisions and allowing terror convicts to be stripped of French citizenship-BBC

2/10/16, "Paris attacks: French MPs back constitutional changes," BBC
 
"French MPs have voted overwhelmingly to change state-of-emergency provisions in the constitution, following November's attacks in Paris.

The lower house voted 317-199 to adopt the package of measures. There were 51 abstentions.

As well as enshrining emergency powers in the constitution, the package of measures would allow terror convicts to be stripped of their citizenship.

But the vote still has to jump several hurdles before it passes into law.

It needs support from the Senate and will then have to be approved by a two-thirds vote of a joint session of parliament, which is likely to take weeks or months.

Nonetheless, it is a significant victory for the French government, which had faced opposition from leading voices, some among its own ranks, say correspondents. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he was "satisfied" with the result and that he was confident senators would also approve the changes.

Justice Minister Christian Taubira resigned last month in protest at the measures.

Critics say the proposal to strip those convicted of terror offences of their French citizenship could only apply to people with a second nationality, which would make two tiers of citizenship. 

President Francois Hollande outlined the changes in the aftermath of the gun and bomb attacks by Islamist militants who targeted a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars - leaving 130 people dead and hundreds more wounded.

The so-called Islamic State group said it was behind the attacks. Seven suspects blew themselves up during the attacks, with two more dying in a police raid days afterwards.

Key suspect Salah Abdeslam has been on the run since the attacks.

Also on Wednesday, the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people died, said in a statement it was aiming to host events again by the end of 2016, AP reports."





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