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Macron seeks extension of French state of emergency

By AFP   |   24 May 2017   |   9:16 am  

French president Emmanuel Macron (2L) flanked by Secretary General of the Elysee presidential Palace Alexis Kohler (L) and Admiral Bernard Rogel (3R) attend a weekly Defense Council at the Elysee Palace in Paris on May 24, 2017, following the May 22 terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert in the British city of Manchester that killed 22 and injured dozens. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

New French President Emmanuel Macron will seek an extension of the country’s state of emergency until November 1 and wants to strengthen the power of security forces with a new law, the presidency announced on Wednesday.

Before his election on May 7, 39-year-old Macron had indicated that he would ask parliament to prolong the state of emergency, which has been in place since the jihadist attacks in Paris in November 2015. It has been extended five times.

A new security forces law would go further than legislation introduced by former president Francois Hollande, who insisted as he left office that police and intelligence services had all the powers they needed.

Lawmakers approved a new law in 2015 which granted the state sweeping powers to spy on its citizens despite criticism from rights groups.

Macron would propose a draft new law to help security forces “outside of the state of emergency,” the statement said.

France has been the target of a series of Islamist-inspired attacks since 2015 that have claimed more than 230 lives.

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