the blocked vote activated in the Senate on the eve of a seventh day of mobilization
In an attempt to speed up discussions on pension reform in the Senate, the government resorted, on Friday March 10, to Article 44, paragraph 3, of the Constitution to enable blocked voting. This constitutional weapon forces the Senate to decide by a single vote on the entire bill, retaining only the 70 amendments chosen by the government. The remaining 1,000 amendments would, however, be well presented to senators, during the debates which are to continue until Sunday eveningbut will not be voted on.
“The government is taking action” because he has “noted a marked and systematic will of the left to obstruct”, justified Olivier Dussopt after this announcement. The Minister of Labor denounced the large number of amendments and sub-amendments tabled by the opposition. “Democratic denial”, “stratospheric contempt” parliamentarians, “49.3 in disguise”… The executive’s announcement provoked the indignation of left-wing elected officials. The application of blocked voting, “it’s the Constitution, it’s not an illiberal application of our fundamental law”replied Bruno Retailleau, president of the Les Républicains group in the Senate, adding that “the cause is you [la gauche]it is your obstruction”.
During a press conference at the beginning of the afternoon, the president of the socialist senators, Patrick Kanner, assured that the leftist groups would “continue to sit and will not give up[t] not the French”. “We will defend the last amendments given to us, almost as a form of alms”he added, followed by the president of the communist group, Eliane Assassi, who assured that they would go “to the end of what it is possible to do so that this text is not put to the vote”.
Seventh mobilization against the pension reform on Saturday
Emmanuel Macron also assured the unions, in a letter dated Thursdaythat the government remained “listening” but that pension reform was necessary. He assured, in a letter, not ” underestimate “ THE ” dissatisfaction “ and the “anxieties” the French. Asked about the subject on the sidelines of his meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday, the French president hinted that he was not ruling anything out, including resorting to adoption without a vote through the use of 49.3. “Parliament happens to follow the terms of our Constitution so that a piece of legislation can go through (…) no more no less “he assured, refusing to “to do here [la] political fiction”.
Debates in the Senate were scheduled to last until Sunday evening and, although the blocked vote aims to speed up the discussions, they could continue until the end of the deadline. At their end, the text will take the path of a joint joint committee (CMP) whose objective is to find an agreement between the two assemblies. This CMP should be held around Wednesday 15 or Thursday 16 March.
This government decision comes the day before of a seventh mobilization against the pension reform, scheduled for Saturday. The sixth, Tuesday 7, had experienced a record crowd with 1.28 million demonstrators in France, according to the Ministry of the Interior (3.5 million, according to the CGT). As the movements continue in certain sectors, notably transport and refineries, the intersyndicale hopes to take to the streets those who cannot afford to strike. An eighth day of demonstrations is already planned for next week, the day of the CMP.