French president invokes constitutional power to adopt pension reform without vote in parliament

French president invokes constitutional power to adopt pension reform without vote in parliament

Emmanuel Macron opts for using Article 49.3 of constitution, government now risks censure motion from opposition

By Nur Asena Erturk

ANKARA (AA) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday decided to use Article 49.3 of constitution to adopt the controversial pension reform without a vote in parliament.

The French Senate earlier adopted the final version of the draft bill by 193 to 114 votes, local media said.

It was an expected outcome since the Senate has a right-wing majority.

The final version of the draft bill was supposed to be transferred to parliament, which was set to start debating it in the afternoon.

However, President Emmanuel Macron held meetings with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, other ministers, and the parliamentary group heads of the political parties to decide whether to use Article 49.3 of the constitution to bypass the parliamentary process, daily Le Figaro reported.

The government does not have the absolute majority in the parliament, so it would have risked seeing its draft bill rejected by the members of the parliament – hence Macron's decision – if Article 49.3 had not been triggered.

The opposition members previously announced that they would call a censure motion if Article 49.3 was invoked.

A group of trade union members, including their leaders, gathered earlier near the parliament in Paris, according to the daily.

The reform plan includes raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 in 2030 and requiring at least 43 years of work to be eligible for full pensions.

It has triggered public outrage since it was revealed last year. Nationwide protests and strikes have been held since January.

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