How do you turn an election failure into a political opportunity? This is the whole question that crosses the groups of the presidential coalition, a week after the second round of the legislative elections and the loss of their absolute majority. After five years of having had a free hand in the National Assembly, while being tied to a very strong executive power, the 246 deputies of Ensemble! – which includes La République en Marche (LRM), the MoDem and Horizons – will have to get used to this new deal when they no longer have the 289 elected officials necessary to have their policy adopted.
If they want to put the presidential project to music – which must remain “the basis of discussion” with the opposition, as the head of state, Emmanuel Macron, again assured this weekend in an interview with the Agence France-Presse – they will now have to deal with the right and the left, even if it means making “compromises” and “concessions”. A vocabulary rarely used in the past five years.
After fearing a blockage of parliamentary activity, the elected Macronists are trying to put on a good face, seeing it as an opportunity to have more responsibilities and weight in the face of an executive that is now weakened. For the elected (Horizons) of Charente Thomas Mesnier, “the balance will now be conceived in the National Assembly”. “We are under an obligation to dialogue with the other groups to reach consensus solutions,” said the deputy (LRM) of Dear François Cormier-Bouligeon. A welcome paradigm shift, according to him, after “fifteen years of hysteria in political debate and permanent bashing” in the Hemicycle, caused in particular by the establishment of the five-year term which strengthened presidential power to the detriment of parliamentary work.
“The relative majority can allow moderates to talk to each other to find project majorities,” he hopes. In this legislature which opens Tuesday, June 28 with the election of the President of the National Assembly, a ballot where the ephemeral Minister for Overseas Yaël Braun-Pivet is the favorite, the postures of each other are upset. For texts to be adopted, the macronists, who like to recall that they are “the first political force in the country”, will however need the votes of deputies sitting in the opposition. And members of the opposition will have to consider voting on measures that they rejected a few weeks earlier. “People were elected to be either in the opposition or in the majority, but I am waiting for the opposition forces to turn into a force of proposal, warns Mr. Mesnier. We have to work together, we have no choice. »
While parliamentarians have not yet entered into the tough negotiations on the first bills such as that on purchasing power or on the ecological transition, the majority hope that the mediatized parliamentary debates will push the opposition, from the Communist Party to the Republicans, to be “constructive and accountable.” “I tell myself that every parliamentarian wherever he comes from will finally face his responsibilities, and in particular the oppositions”, explains the deputy (MoDem) of Yvelines Bruno Millienne, who feels a “little hint of satisfaction” at the sight of the new hemicycle.
“Take the time to consult”
The fragmentation of the National Assembly appears almost like a boon for the macronists forced to endorse alone decisions arbitrated at the Elysee Palace during the first five-year term of Emmanuel Macron. The deputies who have been re-elected for a second term hardly put forward their feeling of accountability vis-à-vis the Head of State. After a difficult campaign, marked by a strong anti-macronism, the deputies have more the feeling of having been elected on their name.
For many, the salvation of their mandate will go through a reaffirmation of the positions of the majority. And in this respect the election as president of the LRM group, of the deputy for Yvelines, Aurore Bergé, is a strong signal sent to the executive. “Before, the government would give us a bill and tell us: ‘That’s it, it’s not otherwise.’ Now we are going to talk about it first before voting anything because given the number of us, they cannot afford to lose a single head, ”warns an LRM MP. During a meeting with the group led by Ms. Bergé on Wednesday, the Minister for Relations with Parliament, Olivier Véran, assured him, the time when the deputies received the texts from the government only a few hours before their passage in committee is over. They will now be notified much earlier in order to be better prepared.
This search for compromise, and the time it requires, is also the best way to reduce the number of texts, according to parliamentarians who are tired of having to examine bills on the fly. “I expect my group to legislate less but to legislate better, to take the time to consult,” underlines Mr. Cormier-Bouligeon. We adopted 700 laws during the last quinquennium, it would have to be divided by three. »
Work “with the best of the left and the best of the right” to find compromises, to commit to “putting an end to legislative proliferation”… Promises reminiscent of those of a certain Emmanuel Macron… in 2017. As if this disavowal at the ballot box in 2022 pushed the macronists to return to their original ambition.