China News Agency, Paris, March 17th (Reporter Li Yang) On March 16th local time, the French government decided to forcibly promote the retirement system reform bill to pass through the parliament. This move caused great controversy in all walks of life in France.
French Prime Minister Borne announced in the French National Assembly (the lower house of parliament) that the government decided to invoke Article 49.3 of the Constitution to directly pass the retirement system reform bill without a vote by the National Assembly. Article 49.3 of the French constitution allows the prime minister to complete the legislative process in parliament without MPs voting. Next, Borne is likely to face a motion of no confidence in the government thrown by the opposition in the National Assembly.
French far-left and far-right party leaders have strongly criticized the government for forcing the retirement system reform bill to pass without a parliamentary vote. Le Pen, the leader of the French far-right party “National Union”, said that she will submit a motion of no confidence in the government. The French Republican Party, which tends to support the pension system reform bill, also believes that the government should put the text of the bill to a vote.
According to the French BFM TV report, French President Macron convened a meeting of senior government officials including Borne on the same day, and agreed to authorize the government to use Article 49.3 of the Constitution to complete the legislative process for the reform of the retirement system as soon as possible. The French Senate had earlier voted to pass the text of the relevant bill.
Some analysts pointed out that French officials may think that it is impossible to ensure that the relevant bills can be passed through a vote, so they can only adopt a forced push. France’s BFM TV revealed that on the eve of the National Assembly vote that day, only 222 members of parliament were confirmed to vote in favor of the retirement system reform, and 289 members of parliament were required to vote in favor of the bill. France’s ruling party lost its absolute majority in the National Assembly in last year’s parliamentary elections.
Borne said through France 1 that night that the relevant procedures of the National Assembly still reflect the nature of democracy. She also stressed that the government has made every effort to ensure that the retirement system reform bill can obtain the support of a majority of lawmakers.
French officials announced the retirement system reform plan in January this year, planning to delay the statutory retirement age from the current 62 to 64. Many polls show that most French people oppose delaying the retirement age, but believe that the retirement system bill can be finally passed. (over)