‘Let’s vote!’ Macron’s PM heckled as she blocks confidence vote in power grab move

Élisabeth Borne heckled by chants in French National Assembly

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While giving a speech at France’s lower court – the National Assembly – Emmanuel Macron’s Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne was booed by opposition MPs for blocking a confidence vote. As Emmanuel Macron’s coalition failed to get an absolute majority in the National Assembly, Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne ruled out a confidence vote amid the risk of being ousted. Under her power, the French Prime Minister can block a confidence vote even though a majority of opposition MPs trigger one.

In a noisy National Assembly, Mr Borne struggled to give her speech under booing: “The extensive discussions I have had with the groups in this Assembly show me that….

“We have the means and the will to come together around common values and objectives.”

As the deafening booing grew louder, she paused for a few seconds before saying: “To build together and to build.”

Opposition MPs then started chanting: “Let’s vote, let’s vote, let’s vote!”

The House Speaker called on the MPs to stay quiet, saying: “Please, my dear colleagues.”

A visibly upset Elizabeth Borne continued: “We have the means and the will to come together around common values and objectives.

“To build together and to carry majorities of ideas.”

Her speech was drowned under growing calls from the opposition to hold a confidence vote.

“Let’s vote, let’s vote, let’s vote!” Opposition MPs chanted. 

Pressure has been growing on Emmanuel Macron’s Government, as he has failed to gather enough support from the National Assembly – a prerequisite to avoid obstruction in the Assembly.

If a confidence vote was held, Elizabeth Borne would most likely be ousted by the Opposition. A simple majority of the Assembly’s 577 MPs would be required to oust her. The Opposition currently has the 298 votes required to oust the Prime Minister. 

Far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s coalition had submitted the confidence vote but failed to gather enough support from other opposition parties such as Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and the Republican Party.

Due to rivalries among opposition parties, the National Assembly would face an uphill battle to gather the required vote and oust the Prime Minister.

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The Government’s spokesperson Olivier Véran explained holding a confidence vote now would put President Macron’s Government in jeopardy.

“We counted the number of votes that the Prime Minister would have been sure to collect in the event of a vote of confidence. We are not certain that the conditions for this confidence would have been met,” Mr Véran said. 

“Trust cannot be decreed a priori, it is patiently built bill after bill,” Mr Véran added.

In the face of the opposition, President Macron will be forced to compromise with parties on a bill-by-bill basis to pass every single legislation through Parliament.

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