Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Hamas and Israel sustain fire despite missed targets

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

France

French senate debates allowing foreigners to vote

©

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-10

A French bill that would allow non-EU foreigners to vote in local elections passed its first hurdle Friday when it was adopted by the upper-house Senate. But the bill stands no chance of passing in the lower house, the National Assembly.

AFP - A French bill to allow non-EU foreigners to vote in local elections passed its first hurdle Friday when it was adopted by the upper-house Senate after a tumultuous debate.

But the approval -- by a Senate dominated by left-wing parties -- remains mainly symbolic, as the bill stands no chance of passing in the lower house, the National Assembly, which remains under conservative control.

Some 300 supporters and opponents of the bill, separated by police, rallied near the Senate building to voice their opinions on the divisive issue of France's immigrant population.

After debate the bill was adopted by a Senate dominated by the opposition Socialists, Communists and Greens, with 173 against 166 votes.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon, in a rare upper-house appearance, said he was firmly opposed to the bill that he said "undermines one of the foundations of our republic".

He accused left-wing parties of "running the risk of voiding French nationality and citizenship of their substance".

Interior Minister Claude Gueant said: "We vote because we are citizens; we are citizens because we are French. Nobody is a citizen because he lives in France."

But leading socialist Senator Francois Rebsamen rejected the criticism and communist Senator Eliane Assassi said: "How can we justify that an Algerian or Moroccan worker who has lived in France legally for decades cannot vote nor be elected to public office?"

President Nicolas Sarkozy, also opposed to the bill, has called it "risky".

It would allow foreigners to become municipal councillors, but not to become mayors or take part in national elections.

If the law were to pass through the National Assembly, the final decision would lie with the president, who could put it to a referendum or lay it aside.

In elections in September the Socialist Party and its Communist and Green allies won enough seats to give the left control of the upper house for the first time in French history.

The Socialists hope they can carry forward their momentum to a presidential win in April and May elections.

 

Date created : 2011-12-09

  • FRANCE - POLITICS

    French senate holds heated debate on foreigner vote

    Read more

  • France

    France hardens immigration stance as elections loom

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France tightens work visa rules for foreign graduates

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)