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France's Macron says could use referendum for institutional reforms

  • "I want all of those deep reforms that our institutions seriously need to be done within a year," said Macron.
  • The new president confirmed he wanted to add a dose of proportionality to future parliamentary elections.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he would go directly to voters via referendum if parliament does not vote major institutional reforms quickly enough.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a special congress gathering both houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) in the palace of Versailles, outside Paris, on July 3, 2017.
ERIC FEFERBERG | AFP | Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a special congress gathering both houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) in the palace of Versailles, outside Paris, on July 3, 2017.

In a much-touted policy speech to both houses of parliament which was strong on broad principles but carried little concrete announcements, the new president confirmed he wanted to add a dose of proportionality to future parliamentary elections.

He also confirmed he wanted to cut the number of lawmakers by a third and scrap a special judicial court that judges ministers.

"I want all of those deep reforms that our institutions seriously need to be done within a year," Macron told lawmakers.

"These reforms will go to parliament but, if needed, I will put them to voters via a referendum.

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