The lower house of France’s parliament approved a highly controversial constitutional amendment on Tuesday. This would strip dual citizenship off those found to be involved in terrorism-related acts. The decision has, however, created a stir in the political climate of France.
For the laws to come into effect, the approval of the upper body called the Senate and a special body called the Congress in necessary. Congress is formed when both the houses of parliament meet at the Palace of Versailles to vote on constitutional amendments. A change would only be effectuated if the bill has been able to secure a three-fifth of votes at the joint sitting of the Congress.
The amendment, which was one of the security proposals by President Francois Hollande following the Paris attacks in November, was passed with 317 votes to 199. Though the French citizens are strongly in support of the bill, member from Hollande’s own party, the Socialist Party, have conflicting opinions on the issue.
According to the Economist, any attempt to segregate the French-born citizens in two categories would mean denigrating the French tradition of the assuring the right to citizenship to those born on the French soil. Though, the government has amended any reference to dual citizens in the bill, under pressure, the law can only apply to them as France cannot render any citizen stateless under International Law.
It is unlikely for the bill to draw enough support at the joint sitting of the Congress, given the bill has already divided both the ruling party and the opposition Republican party. As many as 119 of the 287 Socialist members have either abstained or voted against the bill. Whereas, despite calls from Nicholas Sarkozy, the leader of the Opposition, to support the bill, 74 members have voted against.
The Morocco World News reported that, last month Justice Minister Christiane Taubira resigned when talks on the measure began. However, Prime Minister Manuel Valls is positive that the bill would manage to pass through further rounds of voting in the coming weeks.