French president abandons constitutional reforms aimed at terrorism

French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday that he will stop pursuing a set of constitutional reforms aimed at fighting terrorism, due to political opposition and disagreement between the two houses of parliament.

The reforms included clauses to strip citizenship from people convicted of an "attack on the life of the nation," and enshrine some security measures implemented under a state of emergency more permanently.

Civil rights groups had slammed the proposals, and international organizations raised alarm over the effects of France's security crackdown.

The reforms, pursued aggressively by Hollande and his government after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris in November left 130 people dead, also prompted former Justice Minister Christian Taubira to resign in protest.

Speaking after a weekly cabinet meeting, Hollande said that the proposals were intended, "to better guarantee the use of the state of emergency and to deprive the French nationality from those terrorists who bear arms against their own country."

But due to an inability of the Senate and the National Assembly to find a compromise text, Hollande said that he would abandon the project.

He also deplored entrenched opposition and political attitudes that blocked progress.

The president said the terrorist threat remained at its highest level ever, adding that the situation demands a national response and promising to do everything in his power to "protect the French people."

Despite budget constraints, the state had put 1 billion euros (1.13 billion dollars) toward bolstering security, he said.

"[The state of emergency] has shown its effectiveness, even if it cannot be a permanent state," Hollande said.

Last update: Wed, 30/03/2016 - 15:18
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