No time limit for states of emergency in France under constitution change: draft

3rd December 2015, Comments 0 comments

A proposed change to France's constitution would not place a time limit on states of emergency of the kind introduced after the Paris attacks, according to a draft text seen by AFP on Thursday.

However, the draft change to the constitution says exceptional measures taken during a state of emergency -- such as powers of house arrest -- could be prolonged "for a maximum period of six months" after the original state of emergency has expired.

The duration of any specific state of emergency would remain fixed by law at the time of its introduction, as is the case now, according to the draft text.

Senior parliamentary figures were expected to examine the proposed changes later Thursday, government sources said.

In a rare move, France introduced a state of emergency in the immediate aftermath of the November 13 shootings and suicide bombings in which 130 people were killed in the capital.

Parliament subsequently voted overwhelmingly in favour of extending it for three months.

It is one of the hardline measures that have helped boost President Francois Hollande's approval ratings to their highest since 2012.

But some criticism has begun to emerge of the crackdown.

Lawyers for climate activists who have been placed under house arrest to prevent them from protesting during the UN talks outside Paris have accused the government of abusing the powers.

© 2015 AFP

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