No, Emmanuel Macron is not obliged to wait a year before dissolving the National Assembly (But it would be very risky)

Finding majority agreements with Les Républicains? Poach a few Nupes? Negotiate agreements with all groups? Since this Sunday, the camp of the President of the Republic must boil its neurons to find how to succeed in carrying out its project with the relative majority granted to it by the second round of the legislative elections.

For many Internet users of all persuasions, there is no doubt that the solution is dissolution. Whether they are in favor of it or not, they are convinced that the idea must be running through Emmanuel Macron’s head.

Many Internet users argue that the president should wait a year before being able to dissolve the National Assembly. – Screenshot

Then comes the question of whether the president could pronounce it in the days or weeks to come. For some, he has the right to do so, for others, the Constitution forbids him to do so in the 12 months following the election. 20 minutes make the point.


According Article 12 of the Constitution, the “President of the Republic may, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the Assemblies, pronounce the dissolution of the National Assembly. It is even one of the few powers he can exercise unconditionally. Michel Lascombe, former professor of Constitutional Law at Sciences Po Lille confirms this: “Consultations are only formal, regardless of the opinion of those consulted. As proof, he cites the case of Jacques Chirac who had pronounced the dissolution of the National Assembly against the advice of the presidents of the chambers and of his Prime Minister at the time, Alain Juppé.

“When De Gaulle wanted to dissolve the Assembly in 1968, he summoned Gaston Monnerville to his office at the Elysée. Barely entered, De Gaulle asked the bailiff present to escort Monnerville: “It’s good, he is consulted”” Michel Lascombe, associate professor of public law

The President of the Republic pronounces the dissolution by decree and the elections must take place “twenty days at least and forty days at most after the dissolution”, specifies article 12. The point which sows the disagreement comes at the end of this article. : “A new dissolution cannot be carried out in the year following these elections. Does this sentence mean that Emmanuel Macron must wait a year before being able to dissolve the Assembly?

For constitutionalists contacted by 20 minutes, there is no doubt that this election is not concerned. “It is here about the end of mandate elections, but this article speaks of the elections following a dissolution”, specifies Michel Lascombe.

Article 12 of the Constitution.
Article 12 of the Constitution. – Screenshot

Same answer for Marie-Claire Ponthoreau, professor of public law at the University of Bordeaux: “This one-year period only applies to elections organized following a dissolution. From a legal point of view, nothing prevents the president from dissolving the National Assembly. Questioned by us, the Constitutional Council does not “want to broach the subject”. A surprising response from the authority responsible for ensuring compliance with the Constitution of laws and ensuring the regularity of national elections.

“A political suicide”

The law therefore authorizes Emmanuel Macron to dissolve the Hemicycle without delay. This does not mean that it would be a good idea according to Marie-Claire Ponthoreau: “It would be a huge risk politically. He would imply that he is unhappy with the results and that he is asking voters to vote otherwise. “Blessed bread for the opposition.

“The lack of voter mobilization conveys several messages. Calling them back to the polls would risk disgusting them,” adds Marie-Claire Ponthereau. Emmanuel Macron could then either completely demobilize the voters, or conversely cause a wave against him. It would be “political suicide” according to the professor of public law. Better, for him, to wait to see the situation settle down, perhaps to reconsider the thing at the end of the year if he finds that the country is really blocked.

As a reminder, the National Assembly has already been dissolved five times during the Fifth Republic. Twice by Charles De Gaulle, in 1962 and 1968, to call early elections. Twice by François Mitterrand in 1981 and in 1988, after each of his presidential victories. And in 1997, by Jacques Chirac, two years after his election as President of the Republic. A dissolution that will force him to cohabit after the victory of Lionel Jospin’s left.

Leave a Comment