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FRANCE

France renews state of emergency for fifth time

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve addresses the National Assembly on Tuesday
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve addresses the National Assembly on Tuesday Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

France's parliament has voted to extend thel state of emergency until 15 July, after next year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

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The vote to extend the special anti-terror move, introduced after the November 2015 Paris attacks, was obligatory because of the change of prime minister following Bernard Cazeneuve's appointment to replace Manuel Valls, who has resigned to seek nomination as Socialist Party presidential candidate.

The security measures, in force since attacks in Paris that killed 130 people in November 2015, were expected to be approved by the Senate on Thursday.

It is the fifth extension of the state of emergency, which gives police extended powers of search and arrest.

The overnight vote in the National Assembly passed by 288 to 32, with only Left Front lawmakers, some ecologists and a handful of centre-right Republicans voting against.

Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux, who has taken over Cazeneuve's old job, said Wednesday that there will be "increased protection" for the Christmas and New Year festivities with more soldiers on the streets.

He warned that there was a high risk of attacks over the holidays.

Before renewing the state of emergency the National Assembly passed a vote of confidence in Cazeneuve's government, but by a much smaller majority of 305 to 239 with 10 abstentions, with nearly all right-wing and centrist MPs voting against.

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