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French defense minister resigns over investigation into fake job allegations

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-20 19:07

French defense minister resigns over investigation into fake job allegations

French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sylvie Goulard, leaves the Elysee Palace after a weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, France, May 31, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - French Defense Minister Sylvie Goulard resigned Tuesday to show "good faith" in her political party, the Democratic Movement (MoDem), days after a probe into fake job allegations against the group.

"I asked the President of the Republic, in agreement with the Prime Minister, not to be part of the government anymore," she said.

"If the preliminary investigation into the MoDem would verify the work conditions of my assistants in the European Parliament, I wish to be able to demonstrate freely my good faith and all the work I have done there," she said in a statement.

"Defense 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," she said.

Earlier this month, the Paris prosecutor's office opened a preliminary investigation into the centrist MoDem party, an ally of President Emmanuel Macron, over allegations of possible fake job contracts.

The probe was launched after a former employee of the party and ex-parliamentary assistant of European deputy Jean-Luc Bennahmias revealed that he was paid for the 2010-2011 in part by the European Parliament for a job he did for the party.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is expected to announce the lineup of a new cabinet on Wednesday.

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