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French politicians to seize constitutional court over Armenian genocide bill

Reuters/Osman Orsal

A number of politicians on Tuesday formally requested France’s Constitutional Council to examine the planned law which would punish anyone who denies that the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks was genocide.

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Two separate groups, including Senators and members of the French lower house of parliament, say they have gathered more than the minimum 60 signatures necessary to ask the council to test the law’s constitutionality.

“This is an atomic bomb for the Elysée [Sarkozy’s office] which didn’t see it coming,” said deputy Lionel Tardy, who also claimed that most of the signatories from the lower house were like him, from Sarkozy’s UMP party.

The council must make a ruling on the matter within one month.

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately welcomed the news.

“I hope the council will do what’s necessary,” said Erdogan, while Gul said he was “not expecting the French from the very beginning to let their country be overshadowed” by the genocide law.

 

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