The emerging voting patterns of rural France

France — Interview

The first round of voting earlier this month in France’s presidential elections showed notable political differences between the country’s regions, and also between rural areas and large urban centres. As next Sunday’s decisive second round of the elections approaches, Mediapart’s Amélie Poinssot turned to sociologist Benoît Coquard, a specialist researcher of rural communities, for his insight into the voting patterns that have emerged.

Draft law on climate change wins first hurdle in French parliament

France — Link

The French lower house, the National Assembly, on Tuesday approved draft legislation on new measures to tackle climate change, including bans on some domestic flights and the creation of a new 'ecocide' crime to punish polluters, before the bill, which Greenpeace called 'a lost opportunity', goes to the Senate.

The bitter infighting behind the election of UNESCO's new director general


Former French culture minister Audrey Azoulay was elected as the new director general of UNESCO on Friday, in a narrow victory over her Qatari rival Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari. Azoulay’s election to the top post at the UN science, education and culture agency was the result of a profound divide among its Arab member states, and served a severe blow to Qatar’s ambitions of influence on the world stage. René Backmann witnessed first-hand the tensions during the six rounds of voting, which at one point almost ended in a fist fight, and in this report of the events he analyses the tough tasks ahead for Azoulay amid the decision by the US and Israel to quit the organisation.

French parliament approves law to clean up political life

France — Link

The French lower house, the National Assembly, on Wednesday approved a bill of law containing measures aimed at introducing greater probity in public office by 412 votes to 74, sealing a troubled passage of legislation promised by President Emmanuel Macron during his election campaign.  

French parliament votes to extend state of emergency powers

France — Link

The fourth extension of state of emergency, first introduced after the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, prolongs the wide-ranging powers until January.

French parliament approves first reading of anti-terror reform bill

France — Link

If adopted definitively, the bill will enshrine state of emergency into France’s constitution and strip French nationality from convicted terrorists.

French MPs' absence in key debate is parliament's weakness

France — Opinion

At the end of four days of debates, French MPs on Wednesday voted in favour of the socialist government’s package of proposed amendments to the country’s constitution, which include stripping French nationality from convicted terrorists and giving temporary state of emergency powers a permanent legal basis. The measures are highly controversial and have opened deep divisions both on the Left and Right, yet when the crucial voting of the reforms began on Monday, just 136 MPs out of a total 577 were present. Mediapart political affairs commentator Hubert Huertas argues here that the decried absenteeism reveals above all an inherent weakness of the French parliamentary system.

French MPs narrowly back move to strip convicted terrorists of nationality

France — Link

French lower house approves by a margin of 14 votes the measure to be written into the constitution and which has divided ruling socialist camp.

French government closely watching UK parliament vote on Syria airstrikes

International — Link

As MPs debate joining attacks on Islamic State group in Syria, France regards a 'yes' vote as being of high military and diplomatic importance. 

French lower house approves French mass surveillance law

France — Link

The National Assembly approved by 438 votes to 86 a bill giving the state wide-ranging spying powers, strongly decried by rights' groups.

French parliament approves continuation of anti-IS military campaign

International — Link

A near-total majority of French MPs voted in favour of continuing the country's air strikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria.

French MPs vote to recognize Palestine as a state

International — Link

Vote does not affect France's diplomatic stance but is part of growing effort from Europe to find new ways to push for peace in Middle East.

Netanyahu warns France of 'grave mistake' if it recognises Palestinian state

International — Link

The non-binding but highly symbolic vote in French parliament on December 2nd follows similar resolutions passed British and Spanish MPs.

Women's right to vote in France hits 70th anniversary

France — Link

President Hollande leads celebrations, joined by new Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, but warns more needs to be done to ensure full equality.

Political shake-up likely as France votes in final round of local elections

France — Link

French voters turned out for the decisive round of municipal elections on Sunday, with the ruling socialists braced for further losses.