The discussions resumed, slowly but surely, Tuesday evening in the hemicycle of the Assembly on the text establishing the vaccination pass, after the criticisms of the government on the “irresponsibility” of the oppositions, at a time when the bar of 300,000 new daily cases of Covid-19 is in sight.
“All the conditions are met for us to have a peaceful debate”, assured the resumption of the session chairman Marc Le Fur (LR) in front of well-supplied benches, after the quack of the previous night. More than 500 amendments remain on the menu, starting with the thorny question of the pass for 12-17 year olds, and discussions are expected to continue on Wednesday.
Earlier, Prime Minister Jean Castex had rebelled against the “political coup” of LR deputies who voted Monday evening with LFI and the RN in the hemicycle for the suspension of the examination of the vaccination pass.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal had admitted to him that the oppositions had “obviously succeeded” in their “coup” to “derail” things overnight.
But “we will do everything to keep as closely as possible to the schedule which was planned”, he assured by defending a text “absolutely necessary”.
The Minister of Health Oliver Véran recalled the urgency to act by revealing that “not far” from 300,000 new cases of Covid-19 had been recorded in France during the last 24 hours, record figures never published since the beginning of the pandemic.
The government is still aiming for a final adoption at the end of the week or the beginning of next week of the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass, before it comes into force on January 15.
Examination of the text should be a mere formality. But, twist, 125 deputies – against 121 – refused in the night of Monday to Tuesday, by a vote by show of hands, the continuation of the debates. An outcome loudly hailed by the opposition.
“Amateurs one day, always amateurs”, mocked the president of the LR group to the Assembly Damien Abad after this “big snub for the majority En Marche and the government”, “put in the minority”.
Three months before the first round of the presidential election, candidates on the right and on the left have also widely criticized the government.
For the LFI candidate and deputy Jean-Luc Mélenchon, it is “a correction” inflicted on Mr. Véran who had requested the agreement of the hemicycle to continue the debates after the normal closing time of the Assembly at midnight .
– Whose fault is it?-
The PS presidential candidate Anne Hidalgo has blamed the government for this episode, which “respects no one”. On the right, Valérie Pécresse lamented that the executive “does not manage to hold its majority three months before the presidential election”, on “a poorly put together text”.
Gabriel Attal refuted any amateurism of the majority, already caught in lack of mobilization on several occasions, and the president of the LREM group in the Assembly Christophe Castaner assures that everyone was “present”.
But for Patrick Mignola, boss of the MoDem group, ally of the presidential majority, “what happened is the direct and main responsibility of the majority, it is a lack of mobilization”.
Mr Attal, however, pointed the finger at the gap between a candidate and LR MPs publicly displaying their support for the pass, and LR MPs who, once in the House, criticize and vote against.
“Either Valérie Pécresse lied by saying that she supported the vaccination pass (…), or she was telling the truth (…), but at that time, her troops did not follow her” -it sums.
“What is our position? Mine is simple: we criticize this government’s lack of preparation in the face of this crisis,” replied the candidate for her campaign headquarters in Paris. “We will not oppose this text,” she repeated.
Before the Assembly, Mr. Castex recalled the heavy context and denounced the “unacceptable violence”, after the increase in attacks and death threats targeting elected officials before this debate on the vaccine pass.