THIRTY couples who thought they were married have had their nuptials declared null and void because the official at the ceremonies was not French and did not have the authority to conduct marriages.
The couples, who believed they had tied the knot in Aulnay-sous-Bois, Seine-Saint-Denis, between 2012 and 2013 now need to have their unions “revalidated” after UMP mayor Bruno Beschizza discovered that they had been “solemnised by a councillor of foreign nationality”.
Foreign nationals have been able to vote in council elections since the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 came into force, but French law states that they cannot be elected mayor or deputy mayor “nor even temporarily exercise the functions”.
In 2011, the Interior Ministry had said that these provisions prohibit foreigners to celebrate weddings and other civil status acts. It also said that the Constitution should be changed.
Legal experts in Bobigny confirmed the mayor’s suspicions that the marriages were void because the man who conducted the ceremonies was Portuguese.
A judicial source, however, said that the mayor “proposed to enter civil justice” and wants to validate the marriages retroactively.
Photo: kaphotokevm1 - Fotolia.com