French opposition Socialists boycott question time
France's opposition Socialist lawmakers boycotted the government's question session Wednesday to protest plans to curtail debating time and the right to make amendments to laws.
Deputies called for the resignation of the speaker before storming out of the National Assembly. The opposition has scheduled a vote of no confidence in the government for January 27, but it has little chance of success.
Prime Minister Francois Fillon has rejected suggestions that the opposition's rights will be curtailed due to the parliamentary reforms currently being debated.
He condemned the attacks on the speaker by the Socialists, who say the reforms are aimed at gagging the opposition to President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party.
In recent months the government has accused the Socialists of obstructing the work of parliament by attempting to attach huge numbers of complex amendments to legislation under debate.