Unable to unite around a single candidate for France’s presidential elections in April, France’s profoundly divided broad Left faces a trouncing at the polls. Its stand-alone candidates were joined at the weekend by Christiane Taubira, an icon for some among the socialist movement, whose bid threatens to further splinter the leftwing vote. Fabien Escalona and Mathilde Goanec report.
As the clock ticks down for next April's presidential elections in France, the divided French Left, which with several candidates is split and poorly positioned for success against the conservative and far-right hopefuls, is set to have yet another challenger in the race after Christiane Taubira, a Black Guyanese former socialist justice minister, announced that she will probably stand and 'use all my strength' to unite her political camp.
On Friday February 5th, 2016, the National Assembly began debating plans to alter the French Constitution, including adding the power to strip convicted terrorists of their French nationality. It was supposed to be President François Hollande's grand response to the Paris terror attacks of 2015. Instead, amid general confusion, the government has become bogged down and endlessly changed its mind over the issue. To the point, argues Mediapart's Mathieu Magnaudeix, where the entire affair has become a national farce.
Justice minister Christiane Taubira quit the French government on Wednesday January 27th over her opposition to controversial plans to strip dual nationals of their French citizenship if they are convicted of terrorism. To the last this iconic figure on the left of French politics showed her flamboyance, Tweeting that “sometimes resisting means going” and later declaring: “I leave the government over a major political disagreement.” As Mediapart's political correspondent Lénaïg Bredoux reports, her replacement as justice minister by Jean-Jacques Urvoas, a close ally of prime minister Manuel Valls, is the final step by this government towards the liberal and security-based political line that President François Hollande has been seeking.
France’s justice minister Christiane Taubira this week publicly declared that her government’s new anti-terrorist legislation proposals will not include stripping French nationality from dual nationals found guilty of terrorist crimes. It posed, she said, a “key problem for the fundamental principle of national rights by birthplace, to which I am profoundly attached”. Within 24 hours Prime Minister Manuel Valls insisted that the proposal, pledged by President François Hollande after the November terrorist attacks in Paris, would go ahead. Adding to her humiliation, it is Taubira herself who will present the new bill of law before parliament early next year. Lénaïg Bredoux and Michel Deléan trace the transition of a once flamboyant icon of the Left into a passive objector.
For many years successive French governments have opposed the decriminalisation of cannabis, unlike many other countries. However, France did recently bring in on-the-spot police fines in a bid to simplify procedures and avoid lengthy and costly court cases for cannabis users. However, this new approach will not end the disparities and lack of coherence in the existing repressive policy, under which prosecution for using cannabis depends as much on who you are and where you live as on what you smoke. Michaël Hajdenberg reports.
The French government is rushing through a bill which will give wide-ranging powers to security and intelligence officials to snoop on the nation's citizens. The measure, dubbed by some the French version of America's Patriot Act, will allow spies to tap phones and emails without obtaining permission from judges. It will also allow agents to bug suspects’ homes with microphones and cameras and add covert software to their computers to track every letter and word they type. France's lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly, will hold its final vote on the draft legislation on May 5th. Though the government has sought to justify the proposed law as a necessary tool in the fight against terrorism, the surveillance bill has met with unanimous opposition from civil liberties groups, administrative bodies and the internet community. Editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel here explains why Mediapart is so passionately opposed to this “wicked” law and urges people to join the public protest against it which is planned for Monday May 4th.
by Edwy Plenel
Directeur de la publication : Edwy Plenel
Direction éditoriale : Stéphane Alliès et Carine Fouteau
Le journal MEDIAPART est édité par la Société Editrice de Mediapart (SAS).
Durée de la société : quatre-vingt-dix-neuf ans à compter du 24 octobre 2007.
Actionnaires directs et indirects : Société pour l’Indépendance de Mediapart, Fonds pour une Presse Libre, Association pour le droit de savoir
Rédaction et administration : 127 avenue Ledru-Rollin, 75011 Paris
Courriel : email@example.com
Téléphone : + 33 (0) 1 44 68 99 08
Propriétaire, éditeur, imprimeur : Société Editrice de Mediapart
Abonnement : pour toute information, question ou conseil, le service abonnés de Mediapart peut être contacté par courriel à l’adresse : firstname.lastname@example.org ou par courrier à l'adresse : Service abonnés Mediapart, 11 place Charles de Gaulle 86000 Poitiers. Vous pouvez également adresser vos courriers à Société Editrice de Mediapart, 127 avenue Ledru-Rollin, 75011 Paris.