Macron seeks allies as new French parliament opens

PARIS: French House of Commons reopens on Tuesday after elections upset President Emmanuel Macron whose centrist allies are moving closer to building a stable majority, leaving Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne’s job likely to suffer.
After this month’s vote brought a surge to the far right and far left, opposition forces have made it clear that they will not be drawn to a lasting deal to support the struggling Macron government. 37 seats short with majority.
Borne and other senior Macron supporters have been trying to woo moderate right-wing and left-wing MPs to bolster their ranks, with one MP telling AFP that “the phone is hot”.
But Olivier Marleixhead of the group of conservative Republicans considered most compatible with Macron, saying “we have much better things to do today than sell ourselves to pieces”.
“It’s about making progress for the French people,” he told Europe 1 radio on Monday.
But he added that his MPs would “do whatever it takes to reach an agreement with the government” on an upcoming draft bill aimed at boosting household purchasing power amid food and energy inflation. quantity.
“Making a permanent deal to support the government does not benefit the parties that have just been elected” Marc Lazara professor at the Paris Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po).
The first days of the new National Assembly will take place with the elections of speakers, other high-ranking National Assembly officials and committee heads.
Pro-Macron candidate Yael Braun-Pivet is expected to be the first woman in French history to claim the speaker chair in a series of votes on Tuesday.
On the same day, parties with at least 15 members will be able to form formal groups, which will have more influence and time to speak.
A key question is whether Thursday’s vote to head the Finance Committee – with its broad powers to review government spending – is won by an MP from the National Elections. far right (RN) or not.
Led by Macron’s defeated presidential rival Marine Le Pen, the RN will often claim as the largest single opposition party.
It could face a stiff challenge if the left-wing NUPES coalition consisting of the Greens, Communists, Socialists and hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) can agree on a common candidate .
Next week could see discussions heating up in the auditorium, as the Borne head of government delivers a speech outlining his policy priorities.
It remains unclear whether Borne will carry out a traditional vote of confidence after his arrival – which is not strictly required under the constitution of the French Fifth Republic.
Macron told AFP over the weekend that he had “decided to confirm (his) confidence in Elisabeth Borne” and asked her to continue negotiations to find allies for the government in parliament or at least. support for important votes of confidence and budget.
Macron has ruled out both tax increases and higher public debt in any compromise deal with other parties.
After the president promised a “new government to act … within the first few days of July” when he returned from the G7 this week and NATO meetings in Germany and Belgium, some observers consider the compressed calendar to be ambitious.
“In all other European countries, when they are negotiating to form a government, it can take months” instead of the days that Macron allows, said political scientist Lazar.
Even as the government projects near-normal business, the left-wing LFI in particular has vowed to try to block key proposals such as a flagship reform to raise the legal retirement age from 62. 65 years old.
Deputy Chief of Staff Adrien Quatennens on Sunday said there was “no viable agreement” with Macron, adding that cooperation would be “pointless”.
He added: “We haven’t heard (Macron) move or back an iota on pension reform” or other controversial policies.

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