The French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, easily overcame the first motion of censure against her government on Monday, despite no longer having an absolute majority in the National Assembly. The left-wing alliance Nupes was left alone in the vote in favor of an initiative that it presented as a “motion of mistrust” towards the Executive and a “moment of clarification” of the opposition forces, after Borne’s refusal to submit his Cabinet to a vote of confidence when, last week, he presented his roadmap to the National Assembly.
The head of government condemned the initiative which, as announced, was not supported by the other parliamentary groups. According to Borne, the left presented a “positioning motion” that, she said, does not offer any government alternative nor does it seek more than to “hinder” the work of the Executive.
After a heated parliamentary debate, the motion of censure received 146 votes, far from the absolute majority of 289 that it would have needed to advance. In France, in a motion of censure only the deputies who support the initiative vote. Neither the conservative Republicans (LR) nor Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) voted. Given the result, neither did all the members of Nupes, which has 151 deputies.
Mathilde Panot, president of the parliamentary group of France Insumisa, the main force of the Nupes alliance also made up of socialists, environmentalists and communists (although each one has its own parliamentary group), had justified the measure at the beginning of the session in the face of “arrogance” of a government that “has not changed in form or substance”. She accused Borne of constituting a “democratic anomaly” by not submitting his Cabinet to parliamentary approval, a tradition but not an obligation under the French Constitution.
“You don’t derive your legitimacy from the legislative elections or from Parliament, which you haven’t even asked if it trusted you to lead the nation’s politics. In other words, you are a democratic anomaly”, accused Panot.
the deputy rebellious He also warned the opposition of the right-wing arch that did not support the motion that it thus becomes an ally of the Government. “Whoever does not vote on this motion of distrust will be supporting the policy” of Borne, they will be “the partisans of politics for the rich,” he asserted. A threat that fell on deaf ears. “We will not vote in favor of this motion of censure. We will not join our voice to that of the extreme left ”, settled the conservative deputy Michèle Tabarot in her turn to speak. RN deputy Alexandre Loubet accused Nupes of “mocking the French people” and wanting to “blow up the institutions” of the country.
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The prime minister, in a speech constantly interrupted by shouts from the opposition, accused Nupes of prioritizing “political tactics over the priorities of the French” by imposing a “motion of censure”. a priori” —was presented minutes before Borne even announced his roadmap— which from his point of view does nothing more than “hinder parliamentary work and the will of the French”. Because, he continued, the government of Emmanuel Macron may not have achieved an absolute majority, but it does have a relative majority in the chamber with 250 deputies, 99 more than Nupes.
“The French are fed up with sterile dialogues and posturing,” Borne lamented. The prime minister recalled that in the recent legislative elections no political force achieved a sufficient majority to legislate alone. From her point of view, it was a “clear message” that the French wanted commitment from all forces. And that is something that the left, “which has not won the presidential or legislative elections,” is ignoring, Borne lamented.