After Macron’s use of ‘nuclear option’ on unpopular pension reform, what's next?

© Thomas Samson, AFP

Several consequences could follow the French government’s use of Article 49.3 of the constitution to pass President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform without a vote in the National Assembly on Thursday. They include a no-confidence motion against the government, the dissolution of the Assembly, and ongoing street protests. FRANCE 24 breaks down the options for the opposition and the president.

After Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne on Thursday invoked the power inscribed in Article 49.3 of the constitution allowing the government to pass bills without a vote in the lower-house Assembly, opponents of pension reform still have cards to play. They hope to force the government to back down before the enactment of the controversial law, which includes a hike in the retirement age from 62 to 64.

In the words of a Paris-region deputy and member of the left-wing NUPES (New Ecological and Social People’s Union) coalition, opposition lawmakers hope to use “all the means at their disposal” to sink pension reform. These include supporting organised protests, tabling a no-confidence vote in the government, launching a referendum to potentially kill the reform, and appealing to France’s Constitutional Council.

A vote of no confidence in the government

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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