Toulouse (AFP)

The leader of France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, accused the government on Thursday of preparing an appeal to article 49-3 to have the pension reform adopted, under consideration at the National Assembly.

"They want to prepare public opinion for the idea of ​​leaving 49-3. We have an authoritarian president, the methods of authoritarianism are spreading," said Mr. Mélenchon in a press briefing in Toulouse, where he was to participate in a demonstration and rally against the pension reform.

"For us, it is a battle for identity. The 49-3, we will fight it with a motion of censure," warned the parliamentarian.

Article 49 paragraph 3 allows the Prime Minister to engage the responsibility of the government before the National Assembly on a text of law. The bill is then considered to have been adopted without a vote, except a motion of censure voted by the Assembly.

The new Minister of Solidarity and Health, Olivier Véran, did not completely exclude Tuesday a use of 49-3, hitherto dismissed by the government, while the LFI group assumes a tactic of parliamentary obstruction with more 20,000 amendments tabled for the debates which started on Monday.

With the arrival of the project in Parliament, "our turn has come. We are organized to last six weeks, taking into account the municipal break," warned Mr. Mélenchon.

"It is up to us to hold the trench as long as it takes, knowing that it will be under attack," he insisted, praising the vigor of the "extremely powerful social movement" against the pension reform.

He hoped that social discontent would also be reflected in the polls, to "go and punish the Republic on the move and prevent them from having a good score". "If they have a good score, they will no longer feel," he said.

© 2020 AFP