January 27, 2016 / 8:27 AM / 4 years ago

French justice minister resigns after uneasy term

Outgoing French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira reacts as she leaves after a handover ceremony at the Justice Ministry in Paris, France, January 27, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, a left-winger often at odds with her government on law and order matters, resigned on Wednesday, a victim of President Francois Hollande’s lurch to the right on national security last year.

Taubira had expressed deep reservations about a constitutional reform that would allow some people convicted of terrorism to be stripped of their citizenship. Parliament began examining the draft law on Wednesday.

“I am leaving the government due to a serious political disagreement,” she told a news conference. On her Twitter account, she said: “Sometimes you remain in place to resist. Sometimes resisting means you go.”

Hollande’s office announced that Taubira was being replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas, regarded as more supportive of Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Hollande.

Taubira, born in French Guiana on Feb. 2, 1952, was well known for shepherding legislation through parliament to legalise same-sex weddings in France.

While her active role on that major social policy change was widely recognised, she was often accused of advocating a softer touch on law and order than others in her government.

That stance has looked even more problematic in the wake of the Nov. 13 Islamist militant attacks on Paris and the security clampdown that followed, and as countries across Europe take a harder line on policing.

Taubira has looked increasingly marginalised within the government this year since Valls took charge of the constitutional reform draft law which would normally have been part of her portfolio.

Her resignation comes as French media speculates about a possible broader shake-up of Hollande’s team as it heads into its last full year before presidential and legislative elections.

Editing by Andrew Callus and Louise Ireland

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