The French National Assembly rejected a vote of no-confidence against the Government of Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, in the aftermath of the massive weekend protests over the French government pension plan.
This defeat of the motion means that the Prime Minister will not have to resign, and that Macron’s tyrannical pension overhaul will become law.
This is one of the biggest political crisis endured by the 45-year-old French President.
Macron invoked a controversial executive power to force through his deeply unpopular pension overhaul by decree, without a parliamentary vote. Among other rejected provisions, it raises the retirement age from 62 to 64.
Without majority in the parliament and without consensus, Macron elected to activate the ‘nuclear option’, Article 49.3.
‘The government can only use Article 49.3 once per parliamentary sessions on non-financial bills. It can be used an unlimited number of times on financial bills such as the budget. The other condition is that the bill becomes law, unless a majority of MPs in parliament support a vote of no-confidence in the government (known in French as a motion de censure).’
Elisabeth Borne had already used Article 49.3 11 times since she became Prime Minister, and every time she endured votes of no-confidence that did not pass.
This time, however, protests have erupted on a scale that hasn’t been seen since the Yellow Vests’ massive protests pre-COVID.
Paris lays in a “state of siege” in anticipation of protests in front of parliament, and the Directorate General of Internal Security expects very big problems in policing.
The vote came after 3 days of intense protesting, with Macron being burned in effigy in multiple cities, and severe police brutality, with protesters being chased by dogs in Lyon.
On Monday, with the Garbage pickup strike and the fuel shortages, combined with the massive gatherings expected for tonight, French society is at a breaking point.
After the vote, confrontations and fires immediately started throughout the capital Paris, and in many major cities.
“Tu nous 49.3, on te mai 68”
(You give us [Article] 49.3, we give you May ‘68) pic.twitter.com/bmwdeV5DtU
— Anarchimily in Paris (@anarchimily) March 18, 2023