French prime minister survives no-confidence vote in parliament

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne arrives to deliver a speech at the National Assembly, in Paris, France
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne arrives to deliver a speech at the National Assembly, in Paris, France Copyright AP Photo/Christophe Ena
By Anelise Borges
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Only 146 MPs in France's National Assembly voted in favour of the motion of no-confidence.


France's new prime minister survived a vote of no confidence in parliament on Monday brought by an alliance of left-wing lawmakers shortly after the June elections.

There were just 146 MPs that voted in favour of the motion of no-confidence, which in order to pass would have needed 289 votes.

The no-confidence vote or “motion de censure” had been filed by members of the left-wing alliance Nupes and was presented in parliament by MP Mathilde Panot from the far-left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party.

Panot denounced the government, saying they were leading a "programme of social and ecological malfeasance".

Manuel Bompard, a member of parliament from La France Insoumise, told Euronews that the no-confidence vote was not just "symbolic."

"It’s not ‘symbolic’ to know whether MPs trust the government and the prime minister in place. It is actually decisive. It’s because Madame Borne didn’t call for a confidence vote that we filed this motion," Bompard said.

"I hope those who say they disagree with the government’s position will demonstrate through their vote and that this will clarify who is in the opposition and who is with the government in this country,” he added.

Ahead of the vote, the secretary for the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, accused Macron's political group of being too close to the far-right National Rally.

"This is unprecedented in the history of the Republic," Faure said.

But the motion was largely expected to fail as the far-right party had said that they would not support the measure

"We are already going through a social, economic and security crisis. We don't need a regime crisis. This is why the deputies of the National Rally will not support this confidence motion," said National Rally parliamentarian Alexandre Loubet.

'Political tactics above voter interests'

Borne said ahead of the vote she would have liked to come back to the premises of the National Assembly to discuss matters that are important to the French including “purchasing power and climate change, job creation, education, or healthcare.”

Instead, according to Borne, she was summoned to witness MPs “place political tactics above voters’ interests”.

She accused members of the opposition of not having ideas: “if you come up with a plan, I will listen. […] But I think you’re just angry - at democracy and at the election results.”

The prime minister -- just the second woman to hold the position in France -- had offered her resignation after legislative elections saw President Emmanuel Macron lose an outright majority in parliament.

She has now been under pressure to build alliances and gather more support in parliament to carry out planned reforms by French President Emmanuel Macron, who was re-elected to his post in the spring.

During Monday’s no-confidence debate, Borne said she wanted to remind the opposition they too “hadn’t won” the June parliamentary elections.

"You don’t have a stable majority, you don’t have a governing majority, you don’t have a majority at all,” Borne said.

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