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PARIS — President François Hollande of France announced Wednesday that he was withdrawing a proposal to strip French citizenship from dual nationals convicted of terrorism, ending a monthslong debate that convulsed his governing Socialist Party, dominated political discussion after the November terrorist attacks and led to the resignation of the justice minister.

The idea, originally endorsed by right-wing parties and adopted by Hollande three days after the deadly attacks Nov. 13, drew furious opposition on the left in France, even though all sides agreed it was largely symbolic and would have little practical effect in combating terrorism.

But the proposal highlighted a growing split within the Socialist Party, between those who favored a tough law-and-order approach in the wake of the attacks that killed 130 people, and those worried that the government would be impinging on civil liberties.


Critics on the left complained that the plan would create two classes of citizens, saying it recalled the dark days of the World War II collaborationist government in France, which rendered hundreds of Jews stateless.

France is still under a state of emergency imposed after the attacks, and the police have conducted thousands of raids and put hundreds of suspects under house arrest.

Last week, after the Brussels bombings March 22, officials identified a possible terrorist attack in the “advanced stages” of planning, according to the French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, and announced the arrest of a suspect with links to one of the November attackers.

On Wednesday, however, Hollande said he was pulling back from the citizenship proposal that had become the most intensely debated measure in a bill to overhaul the Constitution. The reversal is likely to reinforce among many voters what pollsters say is Hollande’s reputation for indecision.

Hollande blamed members of the right-wing opposition, which controls the Senate, for his decision.


“I take note that part of the opposition is against all constitutional revision,” he said. “I deplore, profoundly, this attitude, because we must do all we can, under the current serious conditions, to avoid divisions.”

Hollande also abandoned a proposal to create a constitutional provision for declaring a state of emergency, even though it had garnered broad support across the political spectrum.

Hollande’s government had slightly backtracked on the citizenship proposal in January, largely to mollify his critics on the left, in deciding that the bill would not contain any language explicitly referring to dual citizens.

The lower house, the National Assembly, where Socialists are in the majority, approved an amended bill that extended the measure to all French citizens, regardless of how many passports they held.

But the Senate insisted on sticking to the original idea and restricting the proposal to people with dual citizenship, with its leaders saying that the creation of stateless individuals was a “red line” they would not cross. With a presidential election scheduled next year, analysts interpreted the move as a way of dealing yet another blow to an already weakened Hollande.

Under French law, the National Assembly has the last word when disagreements arise with the Senate over regular legislation. But modifying the Constitution requires the approval of both houses, on an identical version of a bill, before they can convene as a Congress in Versailles to vote on it.