PARIS (Reuters) - After a crucial parliamentary session on Monday evening, the French government survived a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly by a margin of 9 votes, after earlier resorting to using a constitutional weapon to enable it to pass a controversial pension amendment law, in conjunction with angry demonstrations in the streets of the country.
The representative of the "center" group, Charles de Croson, opened the session of the French parliament by saying that "the government, by resorting to Article (49.3), chose the easy way to avoid punitive votes," noting that the decision of the government of President Emmanuel Macron reflects "a denial of social democracy."
Meanwhile, the head of the Ennahda party group in the National Assembly, Aurore Bergé, tried to defend the decision of the French president's government, describing the opposition parties as divided and irresponsible.
"There is only one governor and one female governor in the country and their decisions must be followed," Bergé said, adding that justice would be the passage of this law.
Immediately afterwards, Mathilde Panot, head of the Proud France group, sharply criticized Macron's government, saying that "your decision has no value. Macron is not a reformist but he is corrupt," she said, stressing that "the French people have the last word."
"The resolution is neither democratic nor legitimate, and it was passed after faint talks in the corridors of parliament," Panot said, stressing that "nothing has been settled. Everything will go on."
For his part, the head of the "Republicans" Olivier Marlix said in his speech that "we will not vote in favor of a no-confidence motion." Boris Vallot, head of the Socialist Group in the Assembly, denounced the government's use of Article 49.3, which allows the text to be adopted without a vote in the National Assembly.
Scenarios and repercussions
The result appeared to have gone against the expectations of observers, and it also disappointed the opposition, trade unions and large numbers of French people who rejected the pension law.
French political analyst Partick Forstier told Al Jazeera Net that the pension reform law will remain in force, expecting the French to continue to demonstrate.
Comparing the current protests to the student protests of May 1968 and the aspiration of young people to a new society, Faustier pointed out that there are far fewer French people who are demonstrating today than before the law was passed.
Forstier does not rule out that clashes between protesters and security forces will intensify in the coming days, stressing that the depth of the problems is not only political, but also societal.
For this reason, observers as well as trade unions have reported that the government could have resorted to alternative solutions to strengthen the pension system and grant more rights to women and people who work long hours or in physically stressful conditions, but it has not.
Forstier agrees with the opinion of opponents of the draft amendment that "all solutions and alternatives were not discussed, because Macron wanted to pass the law quickly and forcefully."
The political analyst believes that "Macron's position was - and still is - remarkably tense because he lacks a majority in the National Assembly and his party is weak, unlike his first presidential term, where he was sure that any resolution he proposed would be easily passed, and for this reason he tried to gain the votes of the Republican Party to pass the pension law, but they left it halfway and did not vote for it."
If the left, far-left, Marine Le Pen's party and the unions continue to encourage people to take to the streets to demonstrate, the country could witness an internal revolution, Forsté said.
"If we want to overthrow the current situation with what the history books have told us, Emmanuel Macron's situation in the Elysee Palace is similar to the situation of the last king of France, King Louis XVI, in his palace in Versailles when the people revolted against him," he concluded.
Not the first time
The no-confidence attempt against the government of President Emmanuel Macron is not the first in the history of the Fifth Republic; on October 1962, 50, the government of Prime Minister Georges Pompidou resigned after a vote of no confidence, as required by Article <> of the Constitution.
Then-French President Charles de Gaulle responded by dissolving the National Assembly, leading to early legislative elections and the confirmation of the executive.
Article 49.3 was previously used by the government of Elizabeth Bourne by 15 governments. Since the 2008 constitutional amendment, the use of Article 49.3 has been limited to one text of legislation per parliamentary session, excluding social security financing or financing bills, which the prime minister can use without any limit. But before that date, the government could resort to it in any text and as much as it wanted.
Article 49.3 was commonly used under the Fifth Republic, using it 89 times since 1958, 56 times by left-wing governments and 33 times by right-wing governments.