PARIS - France's government will not cede to calls from opposition figures to have lawmakers vote on whether to take military action in Syria, the head of parliament's foreign affairs committee Elisabeth Guigou said on Monday.
President Francois Hollande's demands for Bashar Assad's government to be punished for an alleged chemical attack have left him out on a limb since Britain's parliament voted against carrying out punitive strikes and US President Barack Obama said he would seek Congress approval before any action.
Hollande is head of the army under the French constitution and empowered to order an intervention, with the sole obligation of informing parliament within three days of it starting. Only if military action were to last more than four months would he be obliged to seek parliamentary approval for it to continue.
With opinion polls showing up to two-thirds of the public would oppose an intervention in Syria, however, several conservative, centrist and green politicians called over the weekend for France to hold a special parliament vote.