(CNN) French President Emmanuel Macron will face a vote of no confidence on Monday over his decision to force unpopular reforms to the pension system. It sparked nationwide protests and criticism from lawmakers.
Macron’s government is likely to survive, though the anger over the reforms shows no signs of abating.
The French government on Thursday imposed special constitutional powers to advance controversial legislation to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 for most workers.
On Friday, French lawmakers introduced two motions of no confidence in the prime minister — one from a group of small parties and the other from the far-right National Rally.
To succeed, a majority of MPs – 287 of them – would have to vote for him.
If she succeeds, then French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne will have to resign and the pension reform law will be rejected. That would leave French President Emmanuel Macron with the option of replacing the prime minister or dissolving parliament.
It is believed that the move to overthrow Macron’s government will likely not succeed because pension reforms also have the support of the Republican Party, making it difficult for the rest of the opposition parties to secure the required absolute majority.
The group’s Republican leader, Eric Ciotti, wrote on Twitter: “There will be no majority for a vote of no confidence. Responsibility We don’t want to add chaos to chaos and let our country descend into chaos.”
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also downplayed suggestions that the vote could be successful.
“There will not be a majority to bring down the government, but it will be the moment of truth,” Le Maire told local newspaper Le Parisien.
“I understand the fears and anxieties of our citizens, but we will certainly not improve matters by denying the economic reality,” he added.
With one of the minimum retirement ages in the industrialized world, France also spends more than most other countries on pensions, which account for nearly 14% of economic output, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation.
The government argues that the current system – which relies on the working population to pay a growing age cohort of retirees – is no longer fit for purpose.
However, the protests were not aimed solely at pension reform, but at the constitutional power to enforce it.
Because he was unable to obtain majority support for the bill in Parliament, Macron resorted to Article 49.3, which allowed his government to put the bill forward in the National Assembly without a vote.
The move was widely condemned by protesters and lawmakers as undemocratic.
“We are facing a president who uses the permanent coup,” said Olivier Faure, leader of the French Socialist Party. Tell the local media on Thursday.
The Interior Ministry said 169 people were arrested during protests across France on Saturday.
On Thursday, unions called nationwide strikes and protests, hoping to bring the country to a standstill.