French Opposition Launch Bid to Remove Macron Government from Power

Riot police run past a fire lit by demonstrators on Boulevard Massena during a protest against pension reformat at Porte de Choisy in Paris, France, on Saturday, March 18, 2023. France will press ahead with an overhaul of its retirement system despite street protests and no-confidence votes planned for Monday, …
Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Opposition parties in France are to make an attempt to remove the Emmanuel Macron government from power via a vote on Monday amid ongoing riots across the country.

Various opposition parties within the French parliament have submitted a number of motions expressing no confidence in the Emmanuel Macron government in a bid to get it removed from power.

Such attempts to topple the sitting administration come amid an ongoing protest movement against pension reforms in the country, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in opposition to the new measures.

According to TF1, opposition representatives within the country’s parliament appear to be as outraged at the Macron administration as the general public are, with representative furious at the government’s decision to use an emergency constitutional measure to push through the planned pension reforms without a vote, seemingly due to the fact that the ruling minority group likely would not have enough support to pass the measure otherwise.

Using the emergency measures does come with some repercussions for Macron and his ministers however, with France’s opposition parties being allowed to table a motion of no confidence in the government within 24 hours of its use.

Two such motions are now being debated on Monday, with a coalition of leftist, centrist and right-wing parties expected to vote in favour of seeing the current administration removed from office. As France24 reports, any vote of no confidence to pass needs 287 votes out of 577 seats to pass.

The greatest sticking point for the vote will likely be found within the centre-right Les Républicains, with POLITICO suggesting that only 10 representatives from the party will support the measure as opposed to the 27 the coalition needs to topple the government. Ongoing transport strikes have reportedly made getting to the chamber to vote difficult for some, with abstentions counting as votes for the government, further complicating matters.

Nevertheless, even if these two latest bids to see the Macron administration removed fail, the French President is not likely to have a pleasant week.

With the sitting government showing no sign of backing down, members of the public in the country are reportedly set to continue their widespread demonstrations against the planned pension reforms.

Thursday, in particular, is set to be a day of particular chaos in the country, with a number of major trade union strikes set to see schools across the country close, while trains and air travel are also expected to grind to a halt.

It also seems likely that France will see more violent scenes over the coming weeks, with demonstrations across the country frequently setting fire to objects and clashing with police.

What’s likely to be particularly worrying for French law enforcement is the left’s attitude to the ongoing violence, with France’s answer to Bernie Sanders, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, telling journalists last week that the country had yet to see what real violence looks like.

“You haven’t seen May 68!” he said, referencing the left-wing French student movement which at one point threatened the stability of the state in the 1960s. “You don’t know what a violent demonstration is!”

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