This “referendum motion” was rejected by 160 votes to 70.
Unsurprisingly, it’s no. The National Assembly rejected Monday, February 17, on the first day of the battle over pensions in the hemicycle, the referendum request initiated by the Communists. This “referendum motion”, defended by the entire left-wing opposition, was rejected by 160 votes to 70.
The Communists had gathered sixty signatories – members of the PS, LFI, elected officials Libertés et Territoires and even Xavier Breton (LR) – beyond the quota required (at least 58) to present this referendum request in the House.
This motion, the first since 2008, “It’s a rare act, a strong act”, underlined the leader of the communist group, André Chassaigne: “Sixty signatories of different political sensitivities think that the people should have a say on this bill”.
Appeals to the “people” against “procedural artifice”
“Of course we want this referendum, we want to see and know if the French swallow your canards”, launched the “rebellious” François Ruffin with the majority. For the first secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure, it is necessary that “The people can decide”, unless the government undertakes not to use 49.3, the weapon of the Constitution to have a text adopted without a vote.
The LR group did not take part in the vote, but four of its members nevertheless voted in favor of this referendum request. The president of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen, who voted in favor of the motion, regretted “That this reform does not pass by the validation of the French” and let the debate take place “In an Assembly of which we know very well that it does not represent the opinion of the French today”.
The Secretary of State in charge of Pensions, Laurent Pietraszewski, immediately criticized this motion, “Procedural artifice” and “Dilatory maneuver” for “Prevent the great majority of the National Assembly” from “Do what she was elected to do”. “Why just one referendum, why not 41,000 referendums for each of your amendments?”, quipped LREM deputy Jean-René Cazeneuve.
If this motion had been adopted by both houses, the Assembly and the Senate, it was, however, only a proposal for a referendum made to the President of the Republic, which was then free to decide.