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French parliament dismisses impeachment call against Hollande

Reuters , Wednesday 23 Nov 2016
France
French President Francois Hollande, right, welcomes Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard prior to their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo)
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President Francois Hollande will not face an impeachment process over comments he made to two journalists that revealed French secret services had conducted four targeted killings on his orders, a parliamentary committee ruled on Wednesday.

Earlier this month a conservative lawmaker, Pierre Lellouche, triggered a process to activate article 68 of France's constitution - that allows the National Assembly to impeach the president - on the grounds the Socialist leader had breached security protocols.

A cross-party steering committee voted 13 to eight in favour of halting the impeachment call in its tracks, the leader of the National Assembly, Clause Bartolone, said in a short statement.

There was no immediate reaction from the presidential Elysee palace.

Few of Hollande's allies had expected the process to gain any traction. Even so, the comments, published in a book entitled 'A president Should Not Say that' unleashed a political storm within Hollande's ruling party six months ahead of a presidential election.

Hollande, who is deeply unpopular among voters and has not yet declared whether he will run for a second term, still faces a separate judicial investigation into whether classified documents left lying on his desk in front of reporters constituted a breach of national security. 

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