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French PM Elisabeth Borne survives no-confidence motion in parliament

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French PM Elisabeth Borne delivers a speech at the National Assembly during a vote of no-confidence session in Paris, on July 11, 2022.

PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (AFP) – French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday (July 11) survived her first no-confidence vote in parliament, which had been sponsored by the hard-left opposition.

The motion, which would have needed 289 yes-votes to pass, was backed by just 146 of the National Assembly’s 577 deputies after close to three hours of debate.

The France Unbowed (LFI) party had brought in the motion against Borne, who heads a minority government, but she appeared out of danger when other opposition parties ruled out backing the initiative even before the vote.

During the debate, the prime minister accused LFI of diverting parliamentary time away from important topics.

“Ladies and gentlemen, today we could be working for the good of the French people,” Borne told parliament ahead of the vote. “Instead, we are debating a no-confidence vote that is based on my alleged intentions, and that stands in the way of parliament’s work and therefore of the wish of the French people,” she said.

Borne was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron in May, a month before parliamentary elections in which the ruling centrist party lost its majority.

“We will never accept that someone holds power in this country with their only legitimacy being that they were named by the president,” senior LFI lawmaker Alexis Corbiere told the Public Senat channel on Monday.

“This is the moment of truth,” added the party’s parliamentary group’s leader, Mathilde Panot. The point of the vote was “political clarification” as those who did not vote in favour would be identified as “favouring government policies,” she added.

Borne, 61, has made clear she intends to rely on the votes of opposition parties to pass legislation, with the right-wing Republicans party seen as crucial to her future.

Support from the 62 Republicans MPs would be enough for the government to pass laws during the lifetime of this parliament.

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