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Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both on the move, discussed on Tuesday the possibility of amending the constitution without going through parliament. However, the center-right candidate and the far-right candidate agree on a possible return to the seven-year term – which was stopped in France from 2002.
D-13 before the second round of the presidential election. On this occasion, the two candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen took part in a verbal competition, on Tuesday 12 April, for the possibility of amending the Constitution without going through Parliament.
Marine Le Pen said she wanted to “revitalize” the institutions and the country’s democratic function during a press conference in Vernon (Eure), by proposing a “revolution of the referendum”. She added that she wanted a revision of the constitution to include the principle of “national priority” and the primacy of national law over international law.
In order to carry out such a project, however, it will have to review Article 89, which stipulates that the text must first be adopted in identical terms by deputies and senators – where it does not have a political majority – before it is presented to all voters.
But “it is much healthier for the people to vote (a constitutional reform) than the two chambers”, assessed the far-right representative, confirming that “the Constitutional Council does not have the power to control a bill that revises the constitution”, a claim disputed by lawyers.
It is “not true that we can revise the Constitution directly”, Emmanuel Macron also replied to him during a trip to Mulhouse: “We must first review the two (parliamentary) chambers, it is our Constitution that provides for it, and the Constitution, we must respect it. ‘
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Convergence for the seven-year period and proportional representation
Marine Le Pen also intends to revise the top text to introduce the referendum on the citizens’ initiative and “to facilitate the organization of referendums on all issues”.
With regard to legislative proposals – that is, texts which do not amend the Constitution – only those relating to the “organization of public powers and economic, social and environmental policies” may be submitted to a referendum in accordance with Article 11.
“A referendum is not dangerous, giving the word to the people is not dangerous, what is dangerous is not giving it to them,” said the far-right candidate aiming at the head of state.
The latter replied that referendums “in the context of Article 11” are an instrument that can be used “, including for pension reform, but that he” first wanted to favor broad policy and with the social partners on this issue “.
In addition, the two opponents have each defended the return of the seven-year period, Marine Le Pen wants it “non-renewable”. If a seven-year term for Emmanuel Macron is “a good pace for the presidential election” and “a good respite from the pace of the parliamentary elections”, he defended, on the contrary, “the enduring nature”.
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The mandate of the President of the Republic was reduced from seven to five years after the presidential election in 2002, following a referendum that was largely won by “yes” (73.21%) two years earlier.
On the establishment of a proportional system for parliamentary elections, the outgoing president reminded that he was “pretty for” and that it was “a good thing”. Marine Le Pen, for her part, also indicated that the measure was part of her project, “with a majority bonus”.