France: Clashes break out at student demo in Paris
The French President is facing a barrage of criticism over a possible third national lockdown – something some critics heavily oppose. Presidential candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan has now suggested it could be necessary to remove Mr Macron from office in order to protect democracy. Speaking to the press on Thursday, Mr Dupont-Aignan posited such a move – but stopped short of outright supporting it.
He said: “After being locked up, provoked and despised, the French people are more and more willing to revoke him.
“Many want to trigger article 68 (of the Constitution) on the dismissal of the President of the Republic.”
Article 68 reads: “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.”
The French politician, who has been the President of political party Debout la France since 2008, added: “Will it have to come to this, so that he is held accountable, so that he stops destroying our democracy?
“There is an urgent need to change policies before a social explosion.”
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But Mr Dupont-Aignan did say he didn’t want it to reach that point, because he is “respectful of institutions”.
When speaking yesterday, the politician cited calls from Francis Lalanne to end Mr Macron’s time as President.
The singer and yellow vest protestor called on “the greatest military officials to proceed, on behalf of the French people, to the dismissal of the authors of the Coup d’Etat”.
In response to Mr Dupont-Aignan’s public comments, François Asselineau thanked him for advocating Mr Macron’s dismissal.
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The President of the Popular Republican Union (UPR) wrote on Twitter: “I thank Dupont-Aignan for supporting the approach that the UPR has offered to the French since December 23, 2018.
“Deputies and senators can launch the procedure for the dismissal of Macron by article 68 of the Constitution.”
Mr Asselineau has been calling for French politicians to legally remove the French President for some time.
In December he said: “Article 68 of the Constitution is not a fantasy it is the only legal way to remove the President of the Republic.
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“It is up to a few dozen parliamentarians to initiate the procedure.”
The National Assembly’s website said the only grounds for initiating Article 68 is for “breach of his duties patently incompatible with his continuing in office”.
The move would have to be initiated by Parliament sitting as the High Court and adopted by one of the Houses of Parliament.
The ruling will be made by secret ballot and requires a majority of two thirds.
The ruling will have immediate effect and bears similarities to the US impeachment process.
Mr Macron has so far resisted calls for a third national lockdown, but a decision is set to be made in the coming days.
France continues to face rising coronavirus deaths and cases, with experts stating the 6pm curfew does not go far enough to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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