French government survives no-confidence votes over pensions
French President Emmanuel Macron’s government faced two no-confidence votes Monday, following the passage of a pension legislation raising the retirement age from 62 to 64. Last week, Macron pushed the bill through parliament without a vote using a special constitutional rule called Article 49.3. The only way to stop the bill would have been to dissolve the government. French citizens have been holding protests and strikes against the bill since January.
Were the votes close? Centrists proposed the first no-confidence motion but received nine votes less than the 287 needed for it to pass. The second initiative from the right garnered only 94 votes. If one or both of the votes had succeeded, the government would have had to resign. Then Macron could have dissolved the parliament, appointed a new prime minister, or retained current French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne. Article 49.3 has been used many times in France’s history but a no-confidence vote has succeeded only once, in 1962.
Dig deeper: Listen to Jenny Lind Schmitt’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast for more on the bill.
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