The amendment, including a hotly contested measure to strip convicted terrorists of their French nationality, was passed by the National Assembly with 317 votes for to 199 against, clearing a first hurdle towards adoption.

The package must now gain the support of the Senate, or upper house of Parliament, and then three-fifths of the Congress, the body formed when both houses of France's Parliament come together to debate revisions to the constitution.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he was satisfied with the result. He said he was "sure" the amendments would receive a majority in the Congress.

The stakes were high for President Francois Hollande, who announced in the emotional aftermath of the shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people in Paris in November that he wanted to revise the constitution to toughen the fight against terror.

If the measures had fallen at the first stage, it could have dealt a fatal blow to Hollande's ambitions of re-election in 2017.

Valls had yesterday warned lawmakers from his Socialist Party that voting against the measures would "put the government in difficulty and leave the President in a minority".

The fact that the move to strip terror convicts of their nationality barely scraped through by 162 votes to 148 in a separate vote yesterday suggests the collective package faces many more obstacles.

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