President Emanuel Macron is weighing up whether or not to call a snap election to try and break the deadlock blighting his government. Story by the Express
He vowed to tackle France’s cost-of-living crisis as well as its energy and economic woes last month but faces tough opposition in parliament where he is short of an absolute majority. Left-wing parties are preparing to fight for lower prices and higher wages as the country readies for a tough autumn and winter with energy shortages and outages.
According to Mujtaba Rahman, head of Eurasia Group’s Europe practice, President Macron might be presented with the hard choice between calling a snap election or accepting to be a “lame duck” for the remainder of his second term.
Writing for Politico, Mr Rahman also warned “street marches and strikes now seem likely and will soon escalate, with mounting clamour for higher wages across the board and increased state action against high food and fuel prices”.
He added; “Although, ideologically, the center right is broadly in favour of what Macron proposes, tactically, many Les Républicains deputies fear that their party’s election prospects would implode if they assist Macron with such unpopular reforms.
“Les Républicains has therefore made clear that the government shouldn’t count on continuing support this fall, a position that’s likely to be reinforced by the election of the party’s new national leader in early December.
“Front-runner Eric Ciotti, a 61 year-old deputy from Nice, is the leader of the hard-right, Macron-detesting wing of the party.
“But even moderate center-right deputies, like Ciotti’s pro-European rival Aurélien Pradié, fear that maintaining support for the Macron-Borne government will destroy the once dominant but now much-weakened party’s chances of winning the Elysée in the 2027 presidential election.
“The government will almost certainly have to resort to its emergency powers, under Article 49, clause 3 of the Constitution, to push through its 2023 budget without a vote in December.
“But the real parliamentary crisis is likely to be early next year, when Borne will seek elusive majorities for Macron’s plans to increase the state retirement age and tighten conditions for access to unemployment pay.
“This means Macron faces an incredibly unenviable choice next year, one between dissolving the parliament and calling an early election in the hopes of securing a majority, or accepting very limited ambitions for his second term in office. A winter of discontent is scarcely the best preparation for a snap election campaign.
“However, neither is being a lame duck — with four-and-a-half years still left of a second term.” Continue reading: Macron energy crisis sparks snap election choice to break deadlock in French parliament