‘It’s a dictatorship’ Fury as Macron pushes through controversial French reforms 

Mr Macron’s controversial reform package includes plans to lower the number of National Assembly members by up to a third – from 577 to 385 – and an overhaul of the election system to allow smaller parties to be better represented.

The proposed reform also includes measures designed to speed up lawmaking by shortening procedures and simplifying voting processes and curb the executive’s role in naming magistrates.  

The contentious reform is part of a wider effort to reshape France’s political landscape and “deeply transform” the country’s struggling economy, one of Mr Macron’s key campaign pledges.

Communist lawmaker André Chassaigne accused the French President of wanting to set up a “technocratic dictatorship” in France.

Mr Chassaigne, a member of the French Communist Party, told reporters in Paris that far-left lawmakers would call for Mr Macron’s planned constitutional changes to be put directly to voters in a referendum to stop them from being pushed through parliament by presidential decree as feared.

Mr Chassaigne said: “The reform must be approved by a majority in a public referendum and a real and rigorous debate must be held. This is the challenge that we put to the president of the Republic.

“The government must decide whether it wishes to establish a technocratic dictatorship and force the constitutional changes through parliament without holding a debate, or let the people decide whether or not to amend the French constitution by holding a referendum.

“A constitutional referendum is an absolute necessity in light of the gravity of the planned reforms and will help to safeguard the Republic’s democratic future.”

France’s conservative premier was quick to hit back at the claims, saying that the centrist government was not against democracy.

Mr Macron’s right-wing prime minister Edouard Philippe brushed off claims the centrist government was “against democracy” during a parliamentary debate later on Tuesday, telling Mr Chassaigne that the president had already promised to put the reform to voters in a referendum if it was to be rejected by parliament.