Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on March 14, 2018 at the exit of the Council of Ministers at the Elysee Palace in Paris
Key episode Wednesday of the reform of institutions, object of a tug of war that hardens: Édouard Philippe has received the tenors of the LR Parliament who want a “global agreement” or nothing, but especially François de Rugy and Gerard Larcher, before the verdict of the executive.
While the casus belli have multiplied for each camp, the boss of right-wing deputies Christian Jacob and his counterpart in the Senate Bruno Retailleau have recalled their demands, at the conclusion of a week of consultations of the presidents of parliamentary groups.
Against any “dose” of proportional to the legislative, “factor of instability”, and any measure marking a “weakening of the Parliament”, the first warned that “one does not sell by flats” such a reform. “It takes a government that agrees to discuss” on the whole, supported the second.
The President of the Assembly “felt an opening of the Prime Minister to the discussion on a number of provisions”, as on the proportional, where he recalled his original proposal of “a quarter” of future deputies, or the right amendments.
Last guest, the president of the Senate simply said that “it went very well”. Gérard Larcher has probably reiterated his “very strongly flashing lines”, such as the limitation of the cumulation in time of the mandates of parliamentarians and hammering how the support of the high assembly would be valuable to avoid a stagnation of the reform.
“The Prime Minister will deliver his conclusions Monday to the President of the Republic” and the Head of State “will announce its arbitration in the following weeks,” said Matignon.
On the side of the MoDem of François Bayrou, one pushes for 25% of proportional, maximum of the range proposed by the executive. “10 or 12%” would be “ridiculous” and “contemptuous”, according to the president of the FN, Marine Le Pen.
Time is running out, while the texts (constitutional bills, organic and simple) must be submitted to the Council of State before their presentation to the Council of Ministers in the second half of April, and a first review by the assemblies to the ‘summer.
– Referendum, cross-threat –
“Like an army”: Christophe Castaner, general delegate of LREM, called the deputies of the majority group to support the reform promised by Emmanuel Macron. According to him, it is necessary “to show that there are two poles in France: a conservative, who does not want to change anything, and a reformer”.
Positions stiffened over the course of the talks, while Philippe gave his interlocutors a list of 31 “planned measures”, including on Corsica, the fight against climate change or the national universal service.
The section on “greater efficiency of the legislative process” bristled, especially the “quota of the number of amendments by reading and by group” policy. It would be “a crumbling legislative power” according to the left of the left, a “gagged parliament” according to LR. No agreement to “contingent”, however, François de Rugy is against the “obstruction”, “double concern” that Edward Philippe “hears”.
Some parliamentarians think that the “lure” of a quota of amendments will be “abandoned to better stay on points that the executive holds, such as proportional”.
On this reform, “we are still in the preliminary stage”, the tandem Macron-Philippe “pushes as far as possible” but “it will have to make concessions”, for Philippe Bas (LR), chairman of the commission Senate Laws.
Wishing an agreement, François de Rugy however warned that “if we wait for unanimity, we will do nothing, but there is the capacity largely, with the French” who “expressed themselves during the elections”.
The threat of a referendum, not dismissed by the executive, is now turned against him by some: “chick” for LR like Vice-President Guillaume Peltier, necessary for a debate “clear” with the French, according to the patron of deputies PS Olivier Faure.
The leader of the deputies PCF André Chassaigne had put to the “challenge” on Tuesday Emmanuel Macron to consult “the people” on a replacement of the elected ones “by the technocracy”.
“Universal suffrage has never scared me,” Philippe Philippe told the communist Sebastien Jumel on Wednesday, noting that the draft constitutional law, “the debate will take place in the National Assembly and the Senate” before a possible referendum via article 89. This does not preclude a referendum on the other texts, which carry iconic measures such as the decline in the number of parliamentarians.