LE BOURGET, France — Sylvie Goulard resigned June 20 from her post as French armed forces minister and canceled her planned visit to the Paris Air Show, which was to be on its second day.
That surprise resignation was in response to a French judicial inquiry that opened June 9 into the alleged payment of fictitious assistants in the European Parliament of the Modem party, of which Goulard is a member.
"That is why I have asked the president of the Republic, with the agreement with the prime minister, to step down from the government," Goulard said in a statement, daily Le Parisien reported. Goulard will return to the European Parliament.
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"Defense is a demanding portfolio," Goulard said.
"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," Reuters quoted her as saying..
A government reshuffle is due following the June 18 second round of a parliamentary election, which saw the centrist Republic on the Move party win a big majority.
Goulard was among early Modem supporters of Emmanuel Macron when he ran for the presidential election in May. Macron won that election with a sizable share of the vote and appointed Goulard to the senior government post of defense minister.