Sarkozy apparently running his campaign – in parallel to Romney?
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France repealed a sexual harassment law on Friday on the grounds that the definition of the crime was too vague, sparking renewed debate of an issue put into the spotlight by the arrest of one-time presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn last year.
Some women’s groups said the decision, by France’s highest constitutional body, would leave victims without legal protection until a new law is penned…
Strauss-Kahn had already been rapped over a sexual relationship with a subordinate in 2008, who said she felt pressured to sleep with him, and French writer Tristane Banon filed a complaint after the New York case alleging he tried to assault her in 2003.
Junior civil service minister Georges Tron was forced to resign in June after two women who had worked for him filed sexual harassment complaints. One said the debate sparked by the Strauss-Kahn scandal had prompted her to break her silence.
Friday’s repeal of the law should eventually lead to clearer guidelines for judges. But the fact the measure goes into effect immediately means that all ongoing sexual harassment cases not yet ruled on in court will be thrown out.
It could be months – if not longer – before new legislation is adopted given that a new National Assembly, which would write the new law, will only be elected in June, following Sunday’s presidential election runoff…
A collective of more than a dozen feminist groups said victims had been “abandoned by the justice system…The message of impunity aimed at harassers is revolting…”
And a spokesman for man tipped to be France’s next president wrote in a statement that: “Francois Hollande, if elected, will commit to a new law on sexual harassment being written up and registered as quickly as possible in the parliamentary agenda.”
Seriously. Sarkozy claims he hasn’t much influence with the Constitutional Council – but, it was the conservative government which pushed to have the existing law evaluated. Just like here – he’s managed to antagonize half the electorate in one conservative blunder.