French armed forces minister Goulard quits as probe overshadows her party

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 20, 2017 4:33 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - France's armed forces minister Sylvie Goulard quit the government on Tuesday saying she did not want to be considered in the coming reshuffle because of the investigation overshadowing her party's affairs in the European parliament.

Goulard is a member of Modem, the centrist party that allied itself to President Emmanuel Macron's party in the presidential and legislative elections, but which now faces an inquiry over the way it hired parliamentary assistants in the European parliament.

"Defence is a demanding portfolio. The honor of our armies, that of the men and women who serve and who put their lives in danger, should not be mixed up with controversies that have nothing to do with them," she said in a statement.

Macron appointed members of several parties among his ministers after he was elected president in May.

His party, Republic on the Move (LREM,) won a big majority in Sunday's legislative election, and will not need the votes of Modem lawmakers to get legislation through parliament.

(Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Writing by Andrew Callus; Editing by Sudip Kar-Guta)