The French bill against denying the Armenian genocide

Much is being made this morning of the bill passed by the French National Assembly that would make it a crime in France to deny that Armenians suffered a “genocide” at the hands of Turkish forces in 1915.

Less noted has been the following fact, buried deep in the BBC story:

It passed by 106 votes to 19.

The French National Assembly has 577 members. That’s a lot of abstentions!

The premier and cabinet opposed the bill, but made it a “free vote” so that normal rules of party discipline did not apply.

The bill would still have to pass the Senate, which would seem rather unlikely. (The Senate is indirectly elected by local assemblies.) The BBC says the bill also requires approval of the President, but this is incorrect; in France, the president has no veto.

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