The Senate approves extending health emergency. In the evening of Wednesday January 27, 2021, Senators voted for extending health emergency to May 3, 2021, naming one-month shorter than what the government proposed and voted at the National Assembly, namely extending this exceptional legal frame to June 1, 2021.
Then, the Senate - mostly made of the right wing - decided on with 235 votes for, 39 votes against and 70 abstentions. This exceptional framework - on since October 17, 2021 - is to end on February 16. Without surprise, many senators from Les Républicains, LREM, RDSE and center groups have decided on passing the draft.
Therefore, "not voting for this extension would be like stabbing the executive in the back in the middle of the battle" Indépendants group chairman Claude Malhuret told LCI. From now on, deputies and senators have to agree on a common text. A joint parity committee is currently working to find a legal solution, as planned by the Constitution.
According to Health Minister Olivier Véran, June 1 - namely the date set by the government - remains "coherent given the epidemic's trend" he explains. He says, "this is the necessary time for the vaccine campaign to get full results". Most senators systematically refused amendments presented by the government, to re-establish the deadline on June 1. Now, the future of the health crisis is in the hands of the parliamentary commission.