71% of French want gov’t resignation: Poll


In a survey held after the French government passed the controversial pension reform without a vote in the National Assembly, 71% of the respondents said they wanted the government to resign.

US research organization Harris Interactive, for the French media, asked the French people for their opinion on the government after Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne decided to pass the pension reform without voting by activating the third paragraph of Article 49 of the constitution on Thursday.

In the online survey conducted with 1,002 people aged over 18, 49% were supporters of President Emmanuel Macron's party, and 82% of respondents said using Article 49 to push the controversial reform was "bad."

65% want continuation of strikes, demonstrations

The survey showed that if the opposition puts a motion of no confidence on the table, 71% of the French want it to be accepted and the government to resign.

On the other hand, even if the draft law on reform was accepted, 65% of the participants expressed an opinion in favor of continuing mass demonstrations and strikes against it.

Protests and clashes erupted in Paris on Thursday after the French government used its special constitutional powers to force through its controversial pension reforms without parliamentary consent.

Earlier on Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron decided to use Article 49.3 of the constitution to adopt the controversial draft bill without a parliamentary vote.

After it was passed by the Senate, the final version of the draft bill was supposed to be taken up for parliamentary approval.

However, Macron held consultations with Prime Minister Borne, other ministers, and heads of parliamentary groups of political parties to decide whether to bypass the parliamentary process, the daily Le Figaro reported.

Borne then headed to the parliament to give a speech and invoke Article 49.3, which angered opposition members who previously said they would call a censure motion in case such a step was taken.

Lawmakers against the reforms walked out and the session was suspended.

They joined protesters, including leaders of major trade unions, at the Place de la Concorde.

Macron's decision to use the special constitutional powers was driven by the fear that lawmakers would be able to block the reforms since the government does not have an absolute majority.

His controversial pension reform will be adopted unless the opposition calls a censure motion by 1400GMT on Friday.

The reforms include raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 in 2030 and requiring at least 43 years of work to be eligible for full pensions.

The plan has triggered public outrage since it was revealed last year, with massive protests and strikes across the country since January.

Source: Anadolu Agency