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French justice minister's departure sparks intense reactions on social media

The resignation of France's controversial justice minister, Christiane Taubira, triggered a myriad of online responses. Thousands of critics and supporters clashed over her legacy.

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira's

resignation

became the subject of much discussion across social media today after the minister, herself a keen Twitter user, commented her departure with a tweet:

"Sometimes, resisting means to stay. Sometimes, resisting means to leave. To be true to oneself, to us. So as to leave the last word to ethics anFrench Justice Minister Christiane Taubira's

resignation

became the subject of much discussion across social media today after the minister, herself a keen Twitter user, commented her departure with a tweet:

"Sometimes, resisting means to stay. Sometimes, resisting means to leave. To be true to oneself, to us. So as to leave the last word to ethics and to the law," she wrote.

Following her announcement, her name became a trending topic on Twitter in France, appearing on thousands of tweets throughout the day.

Reactions by both political leaders and ordinary users were split across party lines, with center-right and far-right supporters cheering the news, while the left saluted Taubira's work and mourned her departure.

Florian Philippot, the vice president of the far-right Front National (FN) led by Marine Le Pen, was quick to react, saying Taubira's resignations was "very good news for France."

The mayor of the southern city of Nice, Christian Estrosi, a member of the center-right party Les Républicains (LR) expressed his hope that "Taubira's departure brings this government's lax policy to an end."

Former culture minister Aurélie Filippetti of the Socialist Party (PS) paid tribute to her departed colleague's "immense talent, the work and commitment, which will leave a trace in the history of the justice ministry."

Taubira's departure comes as a result of a "major political disagreement," as she put it the French press, with President Francois Hollande, who is pushing to amend the country's constitution in order to allow courts to strip French citizens of their nationality if they are convicted for committing terrorist acts against France.

Taubira publicly opposed this, but she stayed in the government for several weeks nonetheless, prompting much speculation about her future. Now that she is gone, her supporters and critics alike are praising her integrity.

User Antoine Glatard saluted the former minister, saying he feels "sorry that ethics and integrity no longer have a place in this government."

Users left of the French political spectrum regretted the departure of someone who they consider as the last real left-leaning minister in Hollande's government. Hollande's presidency, already marked by strict economic austerity, is now focusing on security-related issues, a topic usually associated with French center-wing and the far-right.

User Ali, for example, said Taubira was "the only voice of the left who spoke out in this government, with eloquence and integrity."

Her social media critics, on the other hand, rejoiced at her departure, saying it would mark the end of "laxity" in the conduct of judicial affairs, a recurrent critique from throughout her tenure.

Blogger Ehliminateur wrote "Christiane 'laxity' Taubira's tenure as Justice Minister will be marked indelibly by weak and useless measures."

Taubira is one of France's most controversial political figures in recent times. Throughout her tenure, she was at the receiving end of much vitriol for her liberal stance on judicial issues and her defense of the much-debated law that legalized same-sex marriage in 2013. She was the primary voice speaking out for the latter in the French government.

Supporters of the law made a point to show their gratitude for it - like Twitter user Julie Vidal:

"Thank you Mrs. Taubira for the law on marriage equality."

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