PARIS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande will not face an impeachment process over comments he made to two journalists that revealed French secret services had conducted four targeted killings on his orders, a parliamentary committee ruled on Wednesday.
Earlier this month a conservative lawmaker, Pierre Lellouche, triggered a process to activate article 68 of France's constitution - that allows the National Assembly to impeach the president - on the grounds the Socialist leader had breached security protocols.
A cross-party steering committee voted 13 to eight in favor of halting the impeachment call in its tracks, the leader of the National Assembly, Clause Bartolone, said in a short statement.
There was no immediate reaction from the presidential Elysee palace.
Few of Hollande's allies had expected the process to gain any traction. Even so, the comments, published in a book entitled 'A president Should Not Say that' unleashed a political storm within Hollande's ruling party six months ahead of a presidential election.
Hollande, who is deeply unpopular among voters and has not yet declared whether he will run for a second term, still faces a separate judicial investigation into whether classified documents left lying on his desk in front of reporters constituted a breach of national security. [nL8N1DM4YX]
Reporting by Emile Picy and Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Ingrid Melander