© Fred Tanneau, AFP | French president François Hollande delivers a speech on August 25, 2014 on the Ile de Sein, an island off the coast of Brittany, western France.
The head of France’s National Assembly confirmed that he had transferred a copy of the impeachment request signed by 79 opposition MPs to the executive branch.
The request, which takes the form of a bill calling for the activation of the French constitution’s article 68, faces several political and legal obstacles. It remains a long shot and doesn’t appear to have been taken seriously by the president and his Socialist party.
Article 68 was rewritten in 2014 to state that “the President of the Republic shall not be removed from office during the term thereof on any grounds other than a breach of his duties patently incompatible with his continuing in office. Such removal from office shall be proclaimed by Parliament sitting as the High Court”.
The impeachment procedure was launched by Pierre Lellouche, a member of the right-wing party Les Républicains (LR), after the publication of a book, “A President Shouldn’t Say That”, in which Hollande openly discussed state secrets such as details of plans for an air strike on Syria in 2013, or paying ransom for abducted French journalists.
“[The impeachment procedure] expresses our deep conviction that a president must not and cannot have the right to say anything regarding his responsibilities as head of state and head of the military”, said a communiqué from the LR party.
The impeachment request comes as Hollande faces a barrage of criticism from within his own camp. Alarmed by the sitting president’s abysmal approval ratings, several leaders of the Socialist party have publicly urged Hollande to step aside and renounce a run in next year’s presidential election.
Tags: Article 68, disclosure of classified information to journalists, France, Francois Hollande, French President Francois Hollande, Hollande, impeach, impeachment, impeachment request, Socialist Party