Emmanuel Macron survives vote of no confidence by just NINE votes over hugely unpopular pension reforms that have sparked violent protests in France
The government of French President Emmanuel Macron survived a vote of no confidence by just nine votes today.
The poll in the National Assembly on Monday was prompted by the head of state raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote.
The no-confidence motion needed 287 votes to pass, but it got 278, a small margin of victory for Macron.
It means that the hugely unpopular pension reform will now go straight into law, but further opposition is inevitable.
Rioters have been on the streets of France since Macron bypassed the National Assembly last Thursday to introduce new legislation by presidential decree.
It comes after Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 bypassing parliament sparked widespread violent protests across France.
A French police officer in riot gear stands next to a fire during a demonstration in Bordeaux, southwestern France, on March 18, 2023.
As the result of the vote of no confidence was being read, opposition MPs from the left-wing France Unbowed party held up printed banners reading ‘RIP’, while chanting ‘Resign! Resignation!’
The close vote is a personal disaster for Macron’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who had tried to muster a parliamentary majority for the legislation.
Many politicians had been threatened with the guillotine if they supported the government of President Macron.
Police said macabre messages had been sent to parliamentarians preparing for the crucial election.
“Now I’m getting death threats,” said Agnes Evren, a congresswoman and vice chair of the Republican Party.
He said anonymous torturers evoked the guillotine of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette in Paris during the so-called “terror” that followed the 1789 revolution.
“These extremists refuse to debate, have no respect for their political opponents and are openly inspired by Terror,” Ms Evren tweeted.
A French gendarme kicks out a fire in the street during a demonstration in Paris, on March 18, 2023.
Don’t underestimate the danger anymore. Each such threat will now be the subject of a complaint.
Frederique Meunier, of the Republican Party, said: “It’s as if they wanted to behead us.”
And Guillaume Gouffier Valente, a parliamentarian for Macron’s Renaissance Party, saw a scrawled hangman’s sign outside his office in Vincennes, east of Paris.
“He has since made a formal request to the Home Office for police protection for his threatened colleagues,” a party spokesman said.
Renaissance MP Brigitte Klinkert reported graffiti outside her office that read: ‘You vote against us, we’ll remember you.’
There was a fourth night of violence in France on Sunday following Macron’s decision to bypass parliament last Thursday.
Gangs roamed the streets of major cities, including Paris, burning effigies of the president and top ministers before police responded with tear gas and batons.