The French president, Emmanuel Macron, asked this Wednesday for “responsibility” to the opposition parties in parliament to avoid the paralysis of the country after having lost the absolute majority, while opening the door to agreements that allow the application of the program with which He was re-elected last April.
In a televised speech to the nation, Macron acknowledged that the National Assembly that emerged from last Sunday’s parliamentary elections forces him to “legislate in another way” and was opened to “compromises” with other parties without losing “coherence” of the project that kept him in the Elysee two months earlier.
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After having received the main party leaders in the last two days, the president ruled out a government of national unitybut indicated that the internal and external situation is delicate and requires “a broader and clearer majority to act.”
“More than ever, the country needs ambitious reforms to create more wealth and innovation,” he said.
To achieve this, he called on the opposition parties to avoid paralysis and gave them two options: either join the Executive with a coalition program or support some legislative texts with which they feel more comfortable.
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More than ever, the country needs ambitious reforms to create more wealth and innovation
The appeal was general, but between the lines it had two recipients. On the one hand, the conservative right, which although it lost half of its representation, maintains 61 deputies, enough for Macron’s party to reach an absolute majority.
That party, the Republicans, is not hostile to the pension reform proposed by the president, which plans to delay the minimum retirement age to 65 years.
The president’s other target is the more moderate components of the leftist alliance launched by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which with 130 deputies is the main opposition group.
If Mélenchon himself rejected Macron’s outstretched hand, within that conglomerate there are socialists and environmentalists who can approve some policies of the Executive in favor of purchasing power or support for the most disadvantaged classes.
The opposition’s response
Macron gave the parties 48 hours, until the end of the next European Council in which he will be in Brussels, to position himself on his offer and to do it transparently, “in the open,” so that the country can continue adopting the necessary reforms that the current moment demands.
With this maneuver, the president seeks to overcome the labyrinth in which he has been placed by the poor result of past legislative elections, in which for the first time a president elected by universal suffrage (with De Gaulle’s reforms) did not achieve an absolute majority. in the following legislative
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Macron acknowledged the progress of abstention (more than 50%) and the “deep divisions” that reflect the new National Assembly, but avoided talking about extremism, despite the presence of numerous far-left and far-right deputies.
The offer of cooperation was rejected by Mélenchon, in an intervention scheduled for just after Macron’s, and in which he asked the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, to submit to a confidence vote to find out the support she has in the lower house and that he resign if he does not pass it.
“It is useless to turn your back on reality, the prime minister, as in all democracies in the world, has to present herself in front of Parliament and ask for its confidence. If she does not have it, she will have to leave,” Mélenchon said.
Nor did he receive a positive response from the extreme right, which with 89 parliamentarians has the largest representation in history and is the third group.
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Those responsible for the moderate right who spoke opted for specific pacts, as did some representatives of the Socialist Party.
The threat is that the president has the constitutional power to dissolve the chamber and call new elections at any time, something that leaves the conservatives and the socialists in a worrying situation in the event of an electoral repetition, after the bad result that their candidates had in the past presidential elections.
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