the active executive finally article 49.3

Jacques Sérais with AFP
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3:47 p.m., March 16, 2023

The executive has decided on the pension reform. President Emmanuel Macron has just decided to convene a council of ministers to validate the use of article 49.3, in accordance with the Constitution. The government therefore renounces going through a vote in the National Assembly.

An exceptional Council of Ministers 15 minutes before the start of the session at the Assembly

Emmanuel Macron convened an exceptional council of ministers, only 15 minutes before the start of the session at the National Assembly. The Head of State did not want to come to this. The meetings have followed one another at the Elysée since Thursday morning: a first meeting at 8:15 a.m., a second at noon and then a third at 2 p.m. The executive wanted to ensure that in the event of a vote, the town would obtain an absolute majority.

Emmanuel Macron therefore waited until the last moment, but he never had the certainty that the text would be adopted by the deputies. That’s why he decided to activate the 49.3. Place in the Assembly now. But beware, this is not without risk for the government. Élisabeth Borne, the Prime Minister, is now exposed to a motion of censure from the deputies.

Elisabeth Borne booed on her arrival in the hemicycle

Arriving in the hemicycle of the National Assembly, Elisabeth Borne was booed by the opposition, who also sang The Marseillaise. The sitting was suspended for two minutes. The Prime Minister ended up speaking at the podium, in front of LFI deputies calling for her “resignation”.

The Prime Minister finally validated 49.3. “On the basis of article 49 paragraph 3 of the Constitution, I engage the responsibility of my government on the whole of the amending bill for the financing of Social Security for 2023”, she declared. Before adding: “today, on the text of the Parliament, uncertainty hangs over a few votes. We cannot take the risk of seeing 175 hours of parliamentary debate collapse. We cannot take the risk to see the compromise built by the two Assemblies, discarded. We cannot bet on the future of our pensions, and this reform is necessary”, justified Élisabeth Borne in an electric atmosphere.

“A vote will take place”, however, added the head of government, anticipating the filing of a motion of censure. “In a few days, I have no doubt, the government’s commitment to responsibility will be answered by one or more motions of censure. A vote will therefore take place, as it should. And so it is parliamentary democracy who will have the last word”, she developed.

Motions of censure soon tabled

A few minutes after leaving the hemicycle, the president of the National Rally group in the Assembly, Marine Le Pen, announced that she was going to table a motion of censure and demonstrated that Elisabeth Borne “cannot stay” in Matignon. “It’s a statement of total failure” for Emmanuel Macron, she added, considering that the situation is that of a “political crisis”.

Fabien Roussel, the general secretary of the PCF, also announced that he was going to file a motion of censure.

A procession of several hundred young people converges on the National Assembly

More than 1,500 young people demonstrated Thursday in Paris against the pension reform, at the call of student organizations, with the aim of going to the National Assembly, where Elisabeth Borne has just validated article 49.3. The procession left at the beginning of the afternoon from the Place de la Sorbonne towards the National Assembly, to cries of “Eh Manu, Manu, 49.3 or not, your reform we don’t want it” or ” The assembly can vote well, the street will withdraw it,” noted an AFP journalist.

Representatives of several youth organizations, student unions (Alternative), and political organizations (Rebellious Youth, Young Ecologists, NPA Youth), at the initiative of this demonstration, were present. They were joined by workers — railwaymen, refiners etc. –. There were 1,600 demonstrators in the procession on Thursday, according to a police source.


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