Far-right deputies submitted a motion of no confidence in the French government on Friday afternoon, March 17, 2023, after resorting on Thursday to Article 49.3 of the constitution to adopt the bill without a vote in the National Assembly. This procedure allows for the adoption of a text without a vote in the National Assembly. The “Independent Lyot” group also applied.
One of these proposals, put forward by the small centrist group in Parliament not known to the public opinion – the Liberties, Independents, Overseas and Territories (LIOT) group – is likely to cause the government the biggest problem as it is “cross-party”.
“A vote on this proposal will make it possible to get out of a deep political crisis,” group leader Bertrand Banshee told the press. However, he lamented that “colleagues in the Republican Party will not sign it.”
For his part, Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the Rebel France (radical left) party, encouraged “spontaneous actions throughout the country,” announcing that his party would “withdraw” its no-confidence motion in favor of the one put forward by the LIOT group. Some are counting on being voted on by right-wing deputies opposed to reforming the pension system.
This comes as the National Assembly party, which is also planning to submit a motion, announced that it would vote on all motions of no confidence.
Thus, the fate of the government, which is based on a relative majority in the National Assembly, lies in the hands of about sixty deputies from the traditional right-wing group (the Republican Party). If their votes are added to the votes of all the other opposition deputies, they will reach the absolute majority of 577 deputies, which can overthrow the executive authority.
“Continue to rule”
For his part, the leader of the “Republican” group, Eric Ciotti, warned Thursday that his party’s deputies would not vote on “any of the no-confidence proposals.” Therefore, overthrowing the government appears to be a difficult goal for the opposition, while rebels could confuse the executive authority.
The proposals will be voted on at least 48 hours after they are submitted, which is likely to take place on Monday.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Olivier Ferrand said, “We are called to continue ruling.”
On the street, the movements of the opponents of the reform law continue. General assemblies of some trade union groups (in the field of energy and railway workers) are scheduled for Friday afternoon, to try to organize the mobilization that gained momentum after the law was passed Thursday. The trade union federation is planning “local gatherings” this weekend, in addition to a ninth day of strikes and demonstrations, Thursday, March 23, while trade union officials have warned of abuses.
The reform, represented by raising the retirement age from 62 to 64, crystallizes the anger behind the renewed strikes.
Various opinion polls show that the majority of French people oppose this reform, although the number of protesters in the streets and strikers has decreased over time.
Anger in Paris is also evident through the accumulation of waste in a number of streets, as it has not been collected for several days due to the workers’ strike.
In this capital, which is a global tourist destination, unpleasant odors continue to emanate from the piles of garbage, while the authorities are preparing to summon workers to remove part of it.