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French Senate passes Sarkozy constitutional reform bill

[JURIST] The French Senate on Wednesday passed a constitutional reform bill [text, in French; materials, in French] which is backed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and which was designed to modernize the constitution [text] and redefine governmental powers. The subject text of the bill, which passed by a vote of 162-125 [roll call, in French], said that

The draft constitutional revision aims to improve control of the executive, to strengthen the powers of Parliament and to assign new rights to citizens.
If passed, the bill will increase the power of the parliament by giving it more oversight authority while restraining the executive branch through the use of term limits and other provisions. The bill must now be approved by three-fifths of legislators at a special meeting of the full parliament, scheduled for Monday. AFP has more. Le Monde has local coverage, in French.

The amendment package is generally favored by parties with more conservative and centrist platforms, but liberals have called the package a "sham" [Le Monde report, in French]. They have said that it will be ineffective at instituting desirable changes and that it will serve to bolster executive powers.

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