December 9, 2023

French Prime Minister Elizabeth Born is set to present her main priorities in parliament on Wednesday after the government lost its majority in elections last month.

It is expected to face fierce criticism from lawmakers from both the left and the right, who now outnumber government supporters in the National Assembly.

The left-wing coalition, known as the Nupes, said it would launch a no-confidence vote on its opposition to the government in a symbolic way.

The chance of this step succeeding is very slim, because it is unlikely to get the approval of more than half of lawmakers in the National Assembly. The main opposition group, the far-right National Rally, has already said it will abstain from the vote.

If confirmed, the vote of no confidence will be organized within a week, but not before noon on Friday.

Bourne’s office said her speech on Wednesday will focus on key topics including boosting jobs, tackling climate issues, providing equal opportunities for all people, and how to bolster France’s sovereignty at a time when the war in Ukraine is severely affecting European economies.

The government’s first step is expected to focus on purchasing power to help struggling families amid rising energy and food prices.

The bill is scheduled to be presented at a cabinet session on Thursday. It is set to include a series of measures worth 25 billion euros ($25.5 billion) including an increase in pensions and some welfare payments by 4%.

Bourne’s speech comes after President Emmanuel Macron’s coalition suffered major losses in the recent parliamentary elections. Center Alliance, won together! , with the most seats in the National Assembly, but slipped 44 seats from the majority as voters chose the left-wing or far-right coalition.

With the largest group of lawmakers, Macron’s government still has the power to govern, but only by bargaining with opposition MPs. To prevent a stalemate, Macron’s party and its allies want to negotiate settlements on a case-by-case basis with some opposition lawmakers.

Macron rearranged his cabinet on Monday and called on his new government to “stand strong” amid the Russian war in Ukraine and “transform” the debt-laden French economy.

Three of Macron’s 15 ministers failed to hold their seats in last month’s parliamentary elections and were replaced.

In addition, Damian Abad, who was the Minister for Disability Policy and who is under investigation for rape and sexual misconduct, was replaced. Abad strongly denies these allegations.

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