French government faces no-confidence vote over pension overhaul


Political parties opposing the French government's pension reform plan submitted a no-confidence motion in parliament after the country's prime minister used special constitutional powers to force through controversial pension reforms without parliamentary consent.

The government's move triggered outrage among opposition members of the parliament, who submitted motions of censure on Friday.

Independent group Liot's members, and those of five other opposition parties - a total of 91 MPs - submitted the first cross-party censure motion, the daily Le Figaro reported.

MP Laure Lavalette also announced that her National Rally party (RN) submitted another censure motion, parliamentary channel LCP reported.

To bring down the government, a motion of censure would need to gather 287 votes in the National Assembly.

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

However, after consultations with President Emmanuel Macron, ministers, and other political officials, Prime minister Elisabeth Borne on Thursday invoked Article 49.3, which allows the prime minister to bypass parliament.

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

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

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.

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 held across the country since January.

Source: Anadolu Agency