French president François Hollande whose approval rating is a scant 4% now faces impeachment for disclosing classified information to journalists.
Given national elections take place in 2017 and given socialists would be unlikely to convict him, one has to wonder “why bother?”, yet here we go: French Right Calls for François Hollande’s Impeachment.
Republican MP Pierre Lellouche on Monday started a process to activate Article 68 of the French constitution, allowing parliament to impeach the president. The move comes three days after Eric Ciotti, another Republican MP who is managing former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign for the rightwing presidential nomination, formally requested that prosecutors investigate a potential breach of security.
While the impeachment request would have to get over several obstacles and remains a long shot, the initiatives add to Mr Hollande’s woes following the publication of a 622-page book in which the president, among other things, criticised Socialist colleagues and hoped for his party’s “hara-kiri”.
The book, A President Should Not Say That, caused outcry within Mr Hollande’s camp, pushing his approval ratings down to a record low of 4 per cent and prompting calls on the left and right for him to rule out a second presidential bid.
In the book, Mr Hollande also admits that he ordered assassinations for security reasons and disclosed details of plans to destroy targets held by the regime of Bashar al-Assad after allegations that the Syrian leader bombed civilians with chemical weapons.
The impeachment of a president would be unprecedented in the history of the Fifth Republic. It would need backing from another 58 members of parliament before it could be assessed by the National Assembly’s law committee and possibly brought before all MPs.
But less than six months before presidential elections, the moves highlight Mr Hollande’s acute political weakness.
The president has been keeping his camp guessing over whether he intends to stand for a further term in office and has said he would give his decision in December.
It’s rather amazing how Obama, Bush, and now Hollande routinely order assassinations and undertake military actions for political purposes, without declarations of war, making themselves judge, jury, prosecutor, and hangman.