Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

France

French Socialists stall on foreigners' right to vote

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-10-28

Socialist Party leader Harlem Désir attempted on Saturday to drum up support for a controversial election pledge by François Hollande to grant foreigners the right to vote in local elections, but his fellow Socialists seem reluctant to follow.

Newly-elected Socialist Party leader Harlem Désir roused the Socialist Party conference in Toulouse on Saturday when he pledged not to forget François Hollande’s election promise to grant foreign residents the right to vote in local elections. “It’s a question of Republican fraternity, equality and dignity,” he said, promising a commitment from his party to fight for the rights of foreigners. But not all of his fellow Socialists seem to be in agreement.

The bill, which has faced decades of opposition from the conservative UMP party, was supposed to have been introduced in time for France’s municipal elections in 2014. But six months into power, the Socialist Party has failed to rally the numbers in parliament necessary to adopt it, with some high-profile Socialists suggesting that it is not a priority.

Former Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry said Sunday that while “it would be with great sadness not to have this law introduced by 2014, the French people need to know that our greatest priority is employment”.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also expressed his doubts, describing the bill as “controversial” and “lacking support in parliament” in an interview with radio station France Inter on Wednesday.

Government Spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem meanwhile told Radio Classique on Tuesday that she found a 2014 deadline “unlikely” because it would mean adopting the bill in springtime 2013 at the latest, leaving just six months to gather enough support among parliamentarians.

Currently, only European Union nationals living in France can vote in local elections. Hollande’s pledge to grant the same right to all foreigners was made as part of his 60 election promises. When questioned in April over the move – which was initially floated by former Socialist President François Mitterand in 1981 – Hollande reassured voters that it would be completed during his mandate. “Everything that I’ve talked about in my campaign, all my policy engagements, will be done in the first five-year term,” he said.

But today, the bill is far from ready. Désir’s hearty speech on Saturday may convince more Socialist MPs to stop dragging their feet. Until then, it will remain one of France's longest-debated laws to pass through parliament.

Date created : 2012-10-28

  • FRANCE

    France's mayors in revolt against gay marriage

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French PM Ayrault outlines ambitious reform agenda

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Harlem Désir, France's first black president?

    Read more

COMMENT(S)