Monday, July 09, 2007

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says no mass Bastille Day pardons.

Unlike a certian President, whom he even admires, Nicolas Sarkozy is not considering using his Presidential Pardon Power this summer. True to his law-and-order reputation, he is offering no mass mercy to the nation's prisoners on Bastille Day this year.
Speaking in an interview in the French press 8 July, he said that he was not likely to grant a mass pardon of prisoners this Bastille Day, turning around a longstanding tradition in modern French history.
Chirac and previous leaders had used the measure to relieve chronic overcrowding in French prisons, a move supported by prisoners' rights groups and prison guards. Several categories of violent or dangerous criminals are excluded.
"There will be no mass pardon," Sarkozy told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, confirming a pledge he made during his presidential campaign this spring.
He said he had been presented with a decree proposing the release of 3,000 prisoners. "Since when has the right to pardon served as a way to manage prisons?" he asked.
Sarkozy said he would issue individual pardons on a case-by-case basis for "humanitarian or exceptional reasons."
"Someone jumps in the Seine River, and saves three drowning children. It turns out he has a criminal record. The presidential pardon could play a role here," he was quoted as saying.
Chirac came under fire for using presidential pardons for personal reasons when he cleared his friend and former athlete Guy Drut of corruption charges last year.
Prison officers said they were concerned that Mr Sarkozy's decision could lead to disturbances among inmates.
"The reduction of sentences are much anticipated and have a real psychological impact at the heart of the prison population," the SNP-FO prison staff union said in a statement.
Sarkozy has also indicated that he will scrap another set of Presidential pardons: Another tradition in France is that minor offences by drivers are pardoned after an election. Sarkozy said he has no plans to let drivers off the hook this time. Again, unsurprising, given that one of his most energetic campaigns while in government was against speeding and drunk drivers. Sarkozy points to his success in cutting the number of deaths on French roads significantly during his time as interior minister.
Bastille Day commemorates the 1789 storming of the former Bastille prison in Paris by angry crowds, sparking the revolution that rid France of its monarchy.



Blogger ichbinalj said...

On Thursday, 17 Oct 2007 President Nicholas Sarkozy, the 52-year-old French leader, was reeling from blows on two different domestic fronts: a wave of strikes that swept through France and an official announcement that his 11-year marriage had come to an end.

Shortly after a presidential spokesman, David Martinon, told a hastily called news conference that he had absolutely no comment about his boss’s marriage, the Élysée Palace dropped the bombshell that Mr. Sarkozy and his wife, Cécilia, “announce their separation by mutual consent.” The palace later clarified that the couple “had divorced.”

Other French leaders have led unconventional love lives. One president, Félix Faure, died in the bed of his mistress in 1899; another, François Mitterrand, fathered a daughter with his mistress.

But Mr. Sarkozy, who was previously married and divorced long before he was elected president, is the first to divorce while in office.

Immediately after the news was broadcast on radio and television, striking protesters in the port city of Le Havre shouted: “Cécilia, we are like you! We are fed up with Nicolas!”
(NY Times)

5:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home