Nicolas Sarkozy, France's former President and one of the country's leading conservative figureheads, vowed to change the country's constitution to allow a ban on burkini swimsuits - full-body swimsuits for women, if he will be reelected in April 2017, as per Reuters' report.
Responding to a statement of French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who deemed banning burkinis "ineffective and unconstitutional," Sarkozy said that the French constitution has been amended for "30-odd times"
Sarkozy, running as a presidential primary candidate for France's Republican party - Les Republicains, is currently lagging behind Alain Juppe, a former French prime minister with a more moderate and centrist appeal. The primary elections are set to take place on November 2016.
The debate on burkinis has caused severe divisiveness across France for the past few days. Politicians across the country's largely-Socialist government have been divided in bitter debates on the ban, which posts public order concerns against religious tolerance.
With the Conseil d'État - France's highest administrative court, having ruled against the burkini ban for its violation on basic rights that include "freedom to come and go, the freedom of conscience and personal liberty," local governments across the country supportive of the ban continued to express their outrage.
Several towns and regions across France that enforced the bans insisted that they remained in force within their respective jurisdictions, arguing that the country's secular makeup renders burkinis as offensive to women's rights under "liberty, equality and fraternity."
Figures like French Prime Minister Manuel Valls agreed that the ban is meant to free Muslim women from the "enslavement" caused by burkinis, explaining that French secularism has a duty to release them from oppression imposed unto them by their religion.
Those who oppose the burkini ban cite Islamophobia - veiled under what they deem a false reading of Republican values, as the main culprit behind it. Collective Against Islamophobia director Marwan Muhammad lauded the administrative court's decision as a "huge victory for human rights in France."