Sarkozy 's Reform Bill Passes By a Hair

Move to rewrite French constitution has critics crying 'monocracy!'
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2008 9:25 AM CDT
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, center, is seen between Republican Guard soldiers during Bastille day ceremonies in Paris, Monday July 14, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
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(Newser) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed the passing yesterday of a constitutional reform, fulfilling a key campaign pledge. The overhaul of parliamentary and executive powers passed in the assembly and senate by a single vote, capturing 539 votes when it needed 538, the BBC reports. The opposition says the change will solidify France as a "monocracy" for Sarkozy.

The reforms allow parliament to set half its agenda and veto presidential appointments, and limit presidents to two 5-year terms. "It is French democracy that has won," Sarkozy said from Dublin, where he was meeting with leaders to discuss the Lisbon Treaty. "The camp of movement, change, modernity has won over the camp of immobility, of rigidity, of sectarianism."