Harare, Zimbabwe (News of the South)-French politicians will no longer be able to employ their own family members after the country’s National Assembly adopted a bill meant to help clean up national politics.



After hard-fought debates, parliament approved the bill, one of two on public ethics  – a key theme for President Emmanuel Macron during the election campaign, which was dominated for months by allegations of financial impropriety against his conservative rival Francois Fillon, who denied any wrongdoing.



Fillon’s tilt at presidential election was thwarted by controversy surrounding the employment of his wife, Penelope, for “fake work” with a large salary, a case that became known as Penelopegate.



Politicians from Fillon’s party, The Republicans, voted against the bill, while Socialist legislators from France Unbowed and the Communist Party abstained. Macron’s Republic on the Move (REM) holds a big majority in the chamber.



The first of the public ethics bills was adopted by parliament last week.



The two bills together prohibit ministers, MPs and locally elected officials from employing family members, prevent individuals with criminal records from seeking elected office, and refuse parliamentarians the right to hold advisory roles during their mandates.



Wednesday’s vote came a day after a former justice minister was forced to renounce his week-old nomination to the Constitutional Court after prosecutors opened an investigation into allegations he paid his daughter with public funds for fake work.

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