Even if the pension reform is adopted by the Assembly this Thursday afternoon, the opposition will not admit defeat. Not yet. After the failure of a vote of no confidence by RN and Nupes, the Socialists are pushing another pawn: RIP, a joint pension initiative referendum.
“There is no need to wait for (presidential elections) 2027 to question (text). All you have to do is to implement the joint initiative referendum, RIP,” explains Bernard Cazeneuve, François Hollande’s former prime minister, in an interview with La Tribune published on Wednesday. This decision was already mentioned by the socialist deputy Valerie Rabot.
What does it consist of? First, a fifth of the members of parliament must be assembled, that is, at least 185 out of 925 parliamentarians (577 deputies, 348 senators). The signatures have already been collected, Stefan Peu, a communist MP, announced on BFMTV on Tuesday evening. “Article 11 of the Constitution authorizes parliamentarians to submit a bill to a referendum on a common initiative, which is what we are going to do. »
This resolution allows you to force the government to organize a referendum on some issue, in this case, pension reform. The left wants to subordinate to the French the principle of a retirement age, “which does not exceed 62 years.” “. “This is a very simple article, it does not talk about an alternative bill, it cancels this one (from the government)”, sums up the deputy of Saint-Saint-Denis.
4.87 million voters needed
“There are still adjustments to the content of the text, but a priori we are going to start this procedure,” said former secretary Patrick Kanner, president of the PS group in the Senate, on the same day at the LCP. Then the Constitutional Council will need to say yes. »
The second stage takes place in the Constitutional Council. The Elders, chaired by Laurent Fabius, should, for example, ensure that the RIP does not address a topic that was rejected in a referendum less than two years ago. It’s not an option.
Another constraint is related to the timetable, as MPs have a very narrow window of opportunity to launch RIP: after voting on the law, of course, but before it is promulgated. “We had messages from the Constitutional Council saying that we must act quickly. The government wants to release this text very quickly, so we are twisting our arms a bit to be ready early next week,” admits Patrick Kanner.
Then, as the name implies, this referendum must be supported by one tenth of the voters, or 4.87 million people. MPs have nine months to collect signatures. A very high step that has never been reached.
RIP not organized yet
Even if they succeed, the referendum will have only one chance in two. Because the president of the republic will only have an obligation if the parliament does not consider the bill within six months. It is clear that if the National Assembly or the Senate passes the bill within six months, the procedure will stop after consideration by the two chambers, whatever the outcome.
On the left, more than one is discouraged by the idea of the RIP because of the length and complexity of the procedure: since its entry into force in 2015, no parliamentary proposal has led to the organization of the RIP. In 2019, the bill against the privatization of the ADP group, the first RIP, stumbled on the penultimate step, gathering a million supporters.
However, Bernard Cazeneuve believes that if the law had been passed by tongs 49.3, “a return to the people would be the only possible way of appeasement.” “I really believe that in this way it is possible to block the reform, provided that we have time to convince its opponents,” he says. 70% of French people say they are against raising the retirement age, and millions of people have taken to the streets to speak out. Therefore, the left must propose this path. »
Source: Le Parisien
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