Senate rejects controversial government change

End of the game in the Senate for the pre-election in the presidential elections of 2022: The upper house, dominated by the right-wing opposition, largely rejected the controversial change in government, which Marlène Schiappa defended as a “very innovative instrument”.

This amendment, which was tabled at the last moment as part of a technical draft organic law, was re-examined with 321 votes against and 23 votes against (majority of the RDPI group En Marche).

It provided that voters could request a prior vote on voting machines in the week before the election, in offices and at a time to be determined by decree.

A “final” refusal

The change caused an uproar in the opposition.

The Minister of Citizenship defended a “means of simplifying and strengthening participation”. Regarding the “your astonishment and anger are legitimate” method, she reaffirmed the senators’ attention, refuting any will to “pass in force” and any negotiation to “out of date”.

“It was our wish to respond both to the President of the Republic’s commitment to digitization and modernization of democracy and to the wish of a certain number of parliamentarians to modernize and digitize voting,” she developed.

Before the vote, Senator LR Philippe Bas once again “solemnly” asked for the withdrawal of the amendment which, according to the French, provides “a check of intent” for the French, provided they would rather leave on the weekend than go to the vote.

“If we change the rules of the game, we have to reach a consensus among the entire political class, which is not the case in this case,” stressed rapporteur Stéphane Le Rudulier (LR).

The centrist Philippe Bonnecarrère meanwhile wanted to “clarify a procedural point” about the future of the amendment. After the negative vote, “the rejection will be final,” he assured, referring to “the case law of the Constitutional Council”.