by Alejandro Ronard Alem.- With his resignation to appear at the election for a second term, President Francois Hollande redefined the history of the V (fifth) French Republic.
As of December 1, 2016, no outgoing president had acted in such a way as to “desacralizing” the Presidency of the State.
“Sacrilege” that Francois Hollande announced with gravity, dignity and courage. He put in parenthesis his personal destiny, in order to dedicate himself – in the last five months of his Presidency- to guarantee the safety of all French people in the fight against terrorism, and also to finish his not completed work, both at national and European level.
“In the coming months my only duty will be to continue to lead the country according to the mandate that the people gave me in 2012,” said the French president adding “I do not want France to be exposed to an additional crisis, in a moment of its history under a serious terrorist threat, my role is to guarantee the security of the French, putting all political, legal and material mechanisms for this purpose.
After President Hollande´s decision, the resignation of Prime Minister Manuel Valls and his government takes place, opening a new period.
As for the state of emergency voted by Parliament, the French Constitution provides that in this case, the application of this “exception period” expires 15 days after the resignation of the Prime Minister.
Without delay, and according to the constitutional provisions, on December 6 President Francois Hollande appoints Bernard Cazeneuve as the new Prime Minister, who reorganizes his cabinet without making great changes, with the exception of the position of Minister of the Interior. Bruno Le Roux was a loyal supporter of the President and until now the head of the Socialist Party in Parliament, and is now appointed as the new Minister of the Interior. No doubt a recognition of who, from Parliament, has assisted Holland with the most important dossiers and laws of the last five-years, especially on the problems of National Security, the transformation of the State and its legal-constitutional framework.
Pursuant to Article 49 of the French Constitution, the newly appointed Prime Minister makes a general policy statement to parliamentarians and puts his government to an approval vote. Like his predecessors Jean-Marc Ayrault and Manuel Valls, the new PM is going to use his personal style of dialogue, serenity, transparency and firmness.
“To give the country every chance, every day counts, because we must continue the action of restoration of France, its public accounts, its industrial and productive apparatus”, said PM Bernard Cazeneuve, while adding: “France , as the other great democracies, must also face the challenges of its time, in the social, environmental and security fields. This is the responsibility that I was entrusted by President Hollande and that I will accomplish with pride and honor in the last stretch of his Presidency. My first concern is to ensure the protection of all the French people.”
Having said this, and without losing any time, the new Prime Minister proposed to Congress the immediate extension of the State of Emergency, explaining about the dangers of the terrorist threat and how this situation of “exception” had worked in the arrest of terrorist cells avoiding 17 new attacks in preparation in the course of this year.
The first Council of Ministers of the Cazeneuve era adopted a draft law on the rehabilitation of the State of Emergency in four articles.
The text changes the provisions of the rules of Nov. 6. of 1955 in relation to the continuity of the State of Emergency. In the case of a change of government, the new government by simple decree may render ineffective the State of Emergency. This fifth extension of the State of Emergency until July 15, 2017 was defended by the new Minister of the Interior Bruno Le Roux and the text proposed by the government was voted in the National Assembly and in the French Senate obtaining a large majority.
The text was ratified this December 21 in one of the last Councils of Ministers of this year, and immediately enacted.
But the Ministerial Council also adopted a bill on the use of self-defense by the National Police, as in the case obtained by the Gendarmerie. This measure is one of the main claims of the police anger expressed in the streets of Paris in this last month. The law that will be voted by the Parliament in the first days of January 2017, authorizes the police to use its weapons in cases of its lives are in danger, that the life of their colleagues are at risk and to stop any attempt of attack in the case of use of motor vehicles by criminals and/or terrorists .
By consolidating this way the legislative and regulatory arsenal in the rule of law, PM Bernard Cazeneuve pointed out that the adoption of new anti-terrorist measures in judicial matters was supported by the creation of 738 new jobs as judges and magistrates, also 962 positions of officials in the courts, and 4535 positions in the Penitentiary Function.
The former Interior Minister recalled the creation of 9000 posts for the National Police and the Gendarmerie, between 2012 to 2017.
Starting on January 1, 2017, the security forces will be supported by the National Guard with a progression of troops that will eventually be about 85,000 men.
But for PM Bernard Cazeneuve: “zero risk does not exist, the terrorist threat is strong as Daesh is suffering serious military defeats. Security is a responsibility of everyone, the State first, then also a responsibility for the private and all Citizens in general.”
Prime Minister Cazeneuve finally added “the tragic terrorist attacks in the world and particularly in Europe with the horrendous attack that has just occurred in Berlin, commits us to continue working in the fight against terrorism in all fields, being more united than ever “.