FRANCE2017-VOTE-EN-MARCHE

French President Emmanuel Macron Faces Two Votes of No Confidence

The French leader is facing two confidence votes amid a political uproar over a former bodyguard and plunging approval ratings. The motions have been tabled by both conservative and socialist lawmakers.

A motion of no confidence against French President Emmanuel Macron is up for discussion in France’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday. The opposition right-wing Les Republicans party introduced the motion in response to the government’s handling of a political crisis surrounding a presidential security aide.

Emmanuel Macron’s ex-bodyguard Alexandre Benalla was caught on video beating a male demonstrator during May Day protests and dragging away a woman while wearing a police armband — usually worn by plainclothes officers — and a police helmet, even though he is not a police officer.

Benalla was fired last week, but opposition leaders criticised the government’s reaction as being too slow. Last week, Macron said he was proud to have hired Benalla, who he described as a “devoted” employee who had “taken an unusual path” professionally.

Les Republicans also took aim at Macron’s refusal to comment on the incident for several days. Christian Jacob, who introduced the motion, accused Macron of displaying arrogance in his response, and of displaying “monarchical leanings.”

A second motion has been put forward by the Socialist party.

Yet Macron appears to be safe in his job for the moment, as his centrist Republic on the Move (LREM) party holds a solid majority in the lower house.

Plunging ratings

Macron’s approval rating sank to below 50 percent in May — down from a peak of 59 just after took office last year. In June they plunged to 40 percent, according to a Harris interactive poll.

The president’s ratings improved slightly in July, according to Harris, which was also marked by France’s victory at the Russia 2018 World Cup. However a second poll, published on Sunday by French newspaper Journal du Dimanche showed Macron’s popularity slipped to a new low of 39 percent in July.

DW

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