On Monday, the National Assembly will consider two resolutions of no confidence against President Emmanuel Macron’s administration, which overrode the lower chamber to enact a wildly unpopular pension reform.
No-confidence votes on Monday were unlikely to succeed, but the outcome might be close. The measure that would raise the retirement age by two years to 64 would be halted, and the government would be ousted in the event of a successful vote of no confidence.
According to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday, the votes were “a moment of truth” for the administration.
Since the “Yellow Vest” rebellion more than four years ago, violent unrest has broken out nationwide, and trade unions have vowed to step up their strike action. As a result, Macron is facing the most significant threat to his power yet.
The moderate CFDT labor union’s leader Laurent Berger told the publication Liberation that the situation was a “complete train crash,” not a failure.
Macron’s adversaries need an alliance that spans the extremes of the hard left and the far right to get the backing of most of the 577 legislators and overthrow the administration. Voting will occur later in the day after the discussion, which begins at 4 pm (1500 GMT).
Leading Les Republicains (LR) party members have stated they would not support the motions for no confidence. Yet among their ranks are dissidents.
One of them, Aurelien Pradie, who lost his position as the party’s number two due to his opposition to the pension legislation, claimed that just 15 LR MPs were prepared to support the tripartisan motion, far less than the approximately 26 required for it to pass.
Another LR dissident, Fabien Di Filippo, told Reuters that “the statistics don’t add up.”
Even if the motions fail, experts believe Macron’s inability to garner enough support in parliament to put his proposed changes to the pension system to a vote has harmed his reformist agenda and diminished his authority.