French lawmakers vote in favour of law to strip convicted terrorists of nationality

President Francois Hollande proposed to amend the Constitution to strip people convicted of terrorist offences of their French nationality.
President Francois Hollande proposed to amend the Constitution to strip people convicted of terrorist offences of their French nationality.PHOTO: EPA

PARIS (AFP) - Lawmakers in France's Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 9) voted through a highly controversial proposal to amend the Constitution to strip people convicted of terrorist offences of their French nationality.

The measure, passed by a show of hands, followed weeks of debate and is one of a tough set of measures proposed by President Francois Hollande in the wake of the militant attacks in Paris on Nov 13 that killed 130 people.

The nationality measure has strong public support but has deeply divided Mr Hollande's ruling Socialist Party.

Ms Christiane Taubira resigned as justice minister late last month over her opposition to it and Mr Hollande's former prime minister, Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, has publicly condemned the amendment.

Lawmakers will vote on Wednesday on the collective package of measures proposed by Mr Hollande. They voted on Monday in favour of the other key measure in the package - the move to enshrine the state of emergency in the Constitution.

Earlier on Tuesday, Parliament overwhelmingly voted to extend the current state of emergency by another three months, giving police and security forces increased powers.

Rights groups say police are abusing these powers, but the government says it is an essential step to protect the nation at a time when France could face another attack.