French government narrowly survives first no-confidence motion

March 21, 2023

PARIS: French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne´s government on Monday narrowly survived the first -- and more risky -- of two no-confidence motions over its decision to bypass parliament and impose a controversial pension reform.


The 577-seat National Assembly lower house rejected the motion by just nine votes, with 278 votes in favour of ousting the government, speaker Yael Braun-Pivet announced. The failed motion was brought by the centrist Liot coalition and backed by the left-wing opposition.

Lawmakers then began voting on a second no-confidence motion brought by the far-right National Rally (RN) seen as less dangerous for the government. Results were expected imminently.

The government was dependent on members of the right-wing opposition The Republicans not voting for the first motion in order to survive. Analysts had spoken of the motion being rejected by some 20 votes and the single digit margin is a new blow for Borne and her government. Left-wing MPs after the results were announced chanted “resign! resign!” at Borne after the results were announced and brandished signs denouncing the pensions reform.