“That’s not democracy”: in the Assembly, the specter of 49.3 weighs more and more on the debates on pension reform

“That’s not democracy”: in the Assembly, the specter of 49.3 weighs more and more on the debates on pension reform

The word comes back frequently in the mouths of the deputies of the majority, exasperated by the amendments tabled by La France insoumise and the Communists, accused of obstructing.

The deputies gathered on February 17, 2020 at the National Assembly to debate the pension reform project.  (CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

In a week, only half of Article 1 of the pension reform bill – which includes 65 – had been considered in the National Assembly. And there are still around 30,000 amendments to be discussed in two weeks. The government increasingly plans to pass in force. For the members of the majority, 49.3 is no longer a taboo.

LFI and the PC accused of “sabotage”

“We have been witnesses for seven days of an obstruction company that borders on sabotage, denounces Gilles Le Gendre, president of the group La République en Marche in the Assembly. You can see that we are very, very clearly in a desire for this law never to be voted. ”

The majority deputies blame rebellious France and the Communist group, of which around thirty deputies are depositaries of more than 20,000 amendments. “Tirelessly, for seven days, we have been going in circles”, annoys Cendra Motin, deputy La République en Marche, co-rapporteur of the bill.

And Cendra Motin to launch direct accusations: “In this case, those who want to block things are La France insoumise and the communists. Those who want 49.3 are certainly not us, it is they! ”

The debate is not moving forward and could go on for a long time. Bruno Bonnell, MP for the majority, no longer hesitates to threaten: “In the constitutional apparatus, there is an article called 49.3 so if we had to use it, we would use it.”

“If they do that, it will cost them a lot”

The responsibility of a potential use of 49.3 is rejected by the president of the group La France insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “For us, the 49-3 is the worst since – squeak – that stops the debate, he defends. Let’s start by saying who’s the worst for! ”

For Jean-Luc Mélenchon, it is simply the role of the opposition to table amendments. The Assembly must take the time for the debate, adds LFI deputy Mathilde Panot: “Maybe some members of the majority accept the idea of ​​a 49.3 by saying to themselves ‘in the end, we have no other choice’. Yes ! We have other choices. And that’s not democracy, that’s not respect for democracy and if they do that, it will cost them a lot. “

The group La France insoumise, like that of the Communists and Socialists, asks that the debates continue beyond the two weeks still scheduled for the National Assembly.

Pensions: the specter of 49.3 hangs over the National Assembly. Report by Simon Soubieux for franceinfo.