France’s Indefinite State of Emergency Is a Mistake, Macron Says

Emmanuel Macron, who quit French President Francois Hollande’s cabinet to campaign for change, questioned whether the government’s policy of extending its emergency powers was the right way to counter terrorism.

“The state of emergency was necessary at the beginning but its endless prolongation raises legitimate questions,” the former economy minister said Tuesday at a rally in Le Mans, France.

The remarks are among the 38-year-old’s first on security issues in a country that has suffered more than 200 deaths in terrorist attacks in less than two years. While he hasn’t declared his own bid for the French presidency in the 2017 election, Macron has been campaigning since August in an effort to shake up French politics.

Macron also lashed out at proposals by former President Nicolas Sarkozy to lock up people seen by intelligence services as potential terrorist threats who have yet to commit any crimes.

“The right response is not ever more repressive legislation and the choice is not one between security and the rule of law,” he said. “If we give up the rule of law, we’re headed toward a police state and arbitrary justice.”

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