World Macron faces calls to dissolve parliament after bill ‘pulling...

Macron faces calls to dissolve parliament after bill ‘pulling in more migrants’ is rejected

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On Tuesday, Jordan Bardella, Ms Le Pen’s dauphin who heads her RN party, said the best response would be for Mr Macron to “dissolve the National Assembly” and call legislative elections, adding that he was prepared to step up as a prime minister of “cohabitation” if necessary.

The parliamentary defeat was, he added, the sign of “a power that is losing its footing, a power that has lost all its authority and no longer controls anything in our society”.

‘We’re not in a democracy anymore’

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Leftist firebrand, agreed, saying: “After a rejection like this, in any democracy it would mean the resignation of the government, and no doubt a return to the ballot box. But we’re not really in a democracy anymore. On the other hand, we are in a presidential monarchy.”

Olivier Véran, a government spokesman, dismissed the idea of dissolving parliament, pointing out that “we have adopted more than 50 texts in a year and a half in parliament”.

Opposition leaders claim the setback heralds the demise of Mr Macron’s centrist doctrine that they call “having it both ways”.

‘A political swindle’

Ms Le Pen called the bill’s defeat “an extremely powerful rejection” and “a disavowal of Macron’s ‘at-the-same-time’ leadership, which is a real political swindle”. She said: “Its true face has been exposed.”

The immigration bill sought to please the anti-immigration camp with faster expulsion of failed asylum seekers while also legalising undocumented foreigners who work in sectors with labour shortages.

Ms Le Pen said she was “delighted” by the vote because it had “protected the French from pulling in more migrants”. The Left cried victory against what they dub a “xenophobic” law for foreigners in France.

‘Cynical’ scorched-earth tactic

On Tuesday, Mr Macron was cited as criticising its rejection as a “cynical” scorched-earth tactic from MPs with nothing in common bar a desire to block a bill that “a large majority of French consider is going in the right direction”.

His government has announced plans to form a special parliamentary commission aimed at breaking the deadlock over the draft law and finding a compromise.

The commission will be composed of seven representatives from each house of parliament, and will aim to return the bill to both chambers for a vote, said Mr Véran.

Eric Ciotti, head of the centre-Right Republicans Party, told Europe 1 radio that the bill presented to MPs had been watered down from the version that left the Right-dominated Senate and would have led to “more regularisation of illegal immigration”.

While that was unacceptable, he said he saw no reason not to back the text that had been approved by the Senate.

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