Christiane Taubira had expressed reservations about a controversial constitutional change
The amendment would allow terrorists to be stripped of French nationality
The minister said the proposal had triggered a "major political disagreement"
French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira has resigned over what she described as a “major political disagreement” over plans to allow the government to strip convicted terrorists of their French nationality.
Her resignation came as Parliament prepared to consider plans to amend the constitution to allow for the controversial legislation, about which Taubira had expressed reservations.
She will be replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas, who was the president of the parliamentary laws commission.
A statement from President François Hollande’s office announcing Taubira’s resignation said Urvoas would support the constitutional amendment, alongside Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
The amendment, which would allow authorities to strip citizenship from French-born terrorists who have a second nationality, was sought by Hollande after the deadly Paris terror attacks in November.
Hundreds of French citizens have left to fight alongside ISIS, a group that Hollande declared France was at war with after the attacks.
Depriving convicted terrorists of their French nationality was seen as a powerful symbolic move against the group and its supporters, but some, including French Guiana-born Taubira, expressed concerns about the legislation.
’I choose to be true to myself’
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Taubira said it was a “great honor” to have served as minister, but the reasons she was leaving were “major.”
“I choose to be true to myself, to my convictions and values, to my battles and my relationship to others. I am true to us, to us as I understand it,” she said.
Addressing the terrorist threat that had prompted the proposed constitutional change, Taubira acknowledged that it was “grave.”
“But we have learned to chase it,” she said.
“We know how to fight it, but must not concede it any victory, whether it is military, political or symbolic, because this country (France) has strength and imagination, its destiny relies on solid foundations.”
Those foundations, she said, “are strong enough to brave time, accidents and tragedies. And to quote Aimé Césaire, ‘We will not hand the world to the assassins of dawn’.”
The statement from Hollande’s office said that Taubira submitted her resignation Wednesday, and the President accepted it.
“They have agreed together of the need to end her function in the government, as the debate begins in Parliament on the constitutional amendment,” it said.
Earlier Wednesday, Taubira had tweeted a comment on her resignation: “Sometimes to resist means staying, sometimes resisting means going.”
CNN’s Tim Hume reported and wrote from London, and Noisette Martel and Aurore Gayte reported from Paris.