French Junior Minister for Veterans Kader Arif resigned Friday amid an investigation into possible corruption in this ministry, the Elysee Palace announced.
Arif, a close ally of President Francois Hollande, said he was resigning out of respect for his ministerial office. The public prosecutor recently opened an investigation into Arif after allegations of improper behaviour and favouritism in the awarding of contracts by the minister's office.
Arif is now the third minister to be forced to resign in shady circumstances since Hollande came to power in May 2012. Most prominent among these was Budget Minister Jerom Cahuzac, who quit last year after he was discovered to have an undeclared Swiss Bank account.
Close aides to Hollande have also had to leave their posts for behaviour or actions deemed inappropriate to their functions in government.
Hollande said Friday that he had accepted Arif's resignation to allow him "to establish the truth in the case of a preliminary enquiry by the financial prosecutor's office in which his name is mentioned." The President thanked him for his service for over two years and promptly named Jean-Marc Todeschini, currently a Senator, to replace Arif.