Baptism of fire for Elisabeth Borne in search of “compromise”
Unlike many of her predecessors, the Prime Minister will not submit to a vote of confidence after having exposed her method of government, from 3:00 p.m. before the deputies then at 9:00 p.m. before the senators. The leaders of the various groups will intervene in his wake in an atmosphere that promises to be electric. Surrounded by several ministers, she said she was “serene and concentrated” as she walked to the National Assembly from the Hôtel de Matignon.
With only a relative majority in the National Assembly, and a minority in the Senate, Ms. Borne wanted to avoid a double pitfall for her great baptism of fire: to be overthrown if the vote of confidence was refused to her by the deputies or to be maintained thanks to the abstention of the elected RN. “It would be very badly perceived by the public to have a vote of confidence, even ric-rac, with the abstention of the RN”, notes a government source.
The Prime Minister, whose government was reshuffled on Monday after the legislative slap, will therefore join her seven predecessors on the left and on the right who have given up seeking the confidence of deputies under the Fifth Republic during their declaration of general policy. Denouncing this renunciation, the left-wing Nupes coalition, as announced the day before, tabled a motion of censure as a sign of “distrust”. “In the absence of a vote of confidence, we have no choice but to submit this motion of no confidence”, justify the LFI, PS, environmentalist and communist groups in their text submitted to the presidency of the National Assembly and forwarded to the press.
If this text has almost no chance of being adopted, it reflects the electric climate in which Elisabeth Borne will unveil her program, at the forefront of which is the long-awaited bill on purchasing power, presented Thursday in Council ministers. She will also speak on the 8 p.m. news on TF1 on Wednesday. In an international context marked by the war in Ukraine, galloping inflation and the climate emergency, the objective is to “present a basis for working with Parliament”, “a method” to “build together” compromises, underlines its surroundings.
The Prime Minister will thus “take into account” the consultations carried out with the political groups, which have however made known their refusal to participate in a coalition agreement. According to those around her, Ms. Borne will recall, in her speech, her commitments to full employment, ecological transition or equality and will not dodge the explosive issue of pension reform. Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday asked Ms. Borne and several of her ministers to “do everything possible to protect the French in terms of prices”, evoking a “quasi war economy”, reported the Elysée.
However, the hour does not yet seem to the conciliation with the oppositions. Justifying Wednesday morning the tabling of a motion of censure, the leader of the LFI deputies Mathilde Panot affirmed that “this will put each and everyone face to face with their responsibilities”. The RN and its 89 deputies will not join in. “We are already waiting for Ms. Borne to tell us where she wants to take the country” and “we will see how far we can raise our proposals”, explains one of the spokespersons for the RN, Sébastien Chenu.
“We want to take advantage of the situation to obtain progress”, abounds the boss of the LR deputies, Olivier Marleix, who calls for measures “to control public spending”. Displaying itself as a “responsible formation”, the LR group will not join its voices to the motion of censure of the Nupes, because “the objective of the Republicans is not to carry out a political coup”, explained Tuesday the deputy and interim president of the party Annie Genevard. According to the constitutionalist Jean-Philippe Derosier, this motion of censure of the left could, in reality, turn against its initiators and “consolidate (the) legitimacy” of the Prime Minister. Failing to have been able to form a coalition, trust will be built “patiently text after text”, according to the government.
Draft of this quest for consensus: at the request of the opposition, the deputies, unanimously on Wednesday, reduced from March 31 to January 31, 2023 the deadlines for the collection of COVID-19 health data and a possible health pass to the borders, during the examination in committee of the first text of the legislature devoted to monitoring and health security. However, harmony is far from certain. Tuesday evening, the leader of the Insoumis Jean-Luc Mélenchon said he expected a “blockage” in the Assembly with the only outcome of new legislative elections and a single objective: “To fire them all as much as they are” .
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