French President Emmanuel Macron Monday survived a vote of no confidence by a slim margin of nine votes. The vote against Macron’s cabinet was sparked by the President’s decision to bypass Parliament last week, “forcing through” a pension reform to raise the age of retirement from 62 to 64.
On March 12, the bill was passed through the Senate by a majority of 195 to 112. However, during a National Assembly session on Thursday, Macron instructed French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne to invoke Article 49.3 of the French Constitution, which enables the government to pass a bill without a parliamentary vote, bypassing the lower house. The session was cut short due to outcry from the assembly members, with many calling for Borne to resign.
In exercising this executive power, Macron triggered two motions of no confidence. The vote, held Monday evening, resulted in a win for Macron, with 278 votes against.
The pension reform bill has proven highly unpopular among the French public since its introduction, with nationwide protests organised across the country. In reaction to Macron’s bypass of the National Assembly, multiple spontaneous protests broke out Friday, leading to 300 arrests. Following his success in Monday’s vote, Macron’s pension reform is expected to be passed into law despite public protest.