De Courson, the deputy who can unite Le Pen, left and right-wing dissidents against Macron

The French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, in the National Assembly during her speech this Thursday in which she announced the use of article 49.3.

charles decourson He is a deputy of the centrist, discreet and veteran National Assembly. In fact, he is the oldest member of the French Lower House: in 15 days he will celebrate 30 years in the same seat as representative of the fifth constituency of La Marne. So discreet that there was barely a trace of him in the media until a few days ago.

And so centrist and so free that it is part of the Liberties group, Independents, Overseas and Territories (LIOT), a Macedonia of parliamentarians who do not fit under any conventional label. About to turn 71, his decision to present a motion of censure against the Government of Élisabeth Borne He has put you under the spotlight.

Because his is the only one that can succeed since the one that appeared back on October 5, 1962 against the Government of Georges Pompidou. Back then, the opposition backfired. President De Gaulle opted to dissolve the Assembly and the polls gave him an overwhelming majority.

[Macron impone por decreto su reforma de las pensiones y se arriesga a un nuevo estallido social]

I rewind on the latest political events in France. Macron was re-elected president a year ago. On his show, he delay of retirement age from 62 to 65 years. In his first term he already tried it, and despite a union mobilization with massive demonstrations and a transport strike that broke records, he managed to approve it in the Assembly. Covid arrived and, when work resumed in Parliament, Macron preferred not to complete the process.

In this legislature, he has insisted on the mother of all reforms, despite the fact that this time does not have an absolute majority in the Assembly. Macron decided to go slow, let Christmas pass and authorized his prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, to make concessions, leaving the retirement age at 64. Also others to the deputies of the classic right who, logically, should have supported him, since he has been on his program for years.

The French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, in the National Assembly during her speech this Thursday in which she announced the use of article 49.3.


Macron, reserved, chose not to appear in the media trying to convince citizens who, according to all polls, refuse to work for two more years. The unions, more prudent than five years ago, opted for specific strikes, only on the days of the large demonstrations that have gathered millions of people in the streets.

In the end, lacking in being able to convince, the rope has been broken by the weaker side, the votes of the allies of the right. Borne agreed with Eric Ciotti, the new head of Los Republicanos (right-wing homologated to the PP) without him being able to guarantee voting discipline. After a complex legislative procedure and after a favorable vote in the Senate, only a vote was missing in the Assembly. Doing the math, Macron and Borne had no insurance for more than half of the 67 votes of the right-wing troops. They were not enough, after discounting some deserters in their own ranks governmental.

Then, half an hour before the start time of the session where the bill was to be voted on, Macron has decided that his prime minister will appeal to article 49.3 of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, which allows a law to be passed unless a vote of no confidence is successful. It is the last resort that the Constitution Gaullist granted to the Executive branch to pass a law that the Chamber rejects or delays. It is not a decree that must always be validated by a Parliament. It is rather the atomic weapon of the Executive that allows to overcome the reserve of its own parliamentarians avoiding your vote.

Thanks to 49.3, De Gaulle passed nuclear deterrence in 1960; François Mitterrand, the amnesty for the coup generals in Algiers in 1982; or the Macron law of 2015, a liberal text in favor of the company when the current president was finance minister, Manuel Valls prime minister and François Hollande the tenant of the Élysée.

three motions filed

49.3 provides that the legal text is approved if a motion of censure is not presented within 24 hours and voted on in the following 48 hours. The article has been invoked 100 times, counting yesterday. A motion of no confidence has never succeeded. That of 1962 was not derived from this procedure.

This Friday, as the groups announced on Thursday, three must appear. That of the extreme right group will only be supported by its 89 deputies. Your president, Marine LePen, said this Thursday that they are not sectarian like those of the extreme left and that they will vote in favor of all of them. But his votes and those of La Francia Insumisa do not add up to a majority.

French parliamentarian, Charles de Courson.

French parliamentarian, Charles de Courson.


The one that can arouse majority support is the ‘transpartisan’ motion of the veteran Courson and his colleagues from the LIOT group. Since in addition to their own votes and those of ‘lepenistas’ and ‘unsubmissives’, several right-wing deputies who have sworn in Macron, showed themselves this Thursday willing to vote in favor… despite the fact that their boss Ciotti guaranteed otherwise.

Courson, emboldened, gave the government 24 hours this Thursday to withdraw its text and resign, an impossible task. So this Friday he will take the step. Provided that, from the outset, he obtains the support of other deputies. since In order to present it, the support of 50 parliamentarians is needed and LIOT’s centrists only have 20 seats.

[El Senado francés aprueba el polémico proyecto de la reforma de las pensiones]

Courson’s reputation

Courson has built a reputation for serious, upright and hardworking. In almost 30 years, his restraint had not brought him before the cameras. In his biography there are notable antecedents. His maternal grandfather was one of the 80 deputies who refused to vote Marshal Pétain full powers in 1940. Arrested and deported, he died in a concentration camp.

Another of his ancestors voted in favor of the execution of Louis XVI. Courson studied at the Escuela Superior de Ciencias Económicas, did the ENA and entered the Court of Accounts in 1983. He entered politics replacing his father as mayor of Vanault les Dames, a post he retains 31 years later.

[Filibusterismo, moción de censura y otras claves de la polémica reforma de la jubilación en Francia]

In the Assembly, voted for the censorship presented by the left against the Gaullist Dominique de Villepin and opposed gay marriage. Contrary to superfluous public spending, he received the ethics award for his commitment to transparency and the proper use of spending by parliamentarians. His only known offenses have to do with speeding behind the wheel.. They took away his license when he hit 141 km/h on a road limited to 90.

Last night the Police evicted the Plaza de la Concordia, where a spontaneous demonstration gathered some 6,000 people after the session in the neighboring Assembly in which Borne took refuge in 49.3. He had to shout to be heard amid the boos of the opposition, who did not stop singing The marsellesa. The inter-union has called new mobilizations and protests. The push for pension reform is not over yet.

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