INTERNATIONAL - French President survives no-confidence motions

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INTERNATIONAL - French President survives no-confidence motions

The vote confirmed his majority after a video of Macron's chief bodyguard beating up a protester went viral last month, reported Reuters. It passed 62 votes to one, supported by members of Macron's centrist La République en Marche! party.

The Benalla scandal is set to get another airing this week in parliament, after the opposition conservative party presented a motion of no-confidence in the government.

Despite the parliamentary victories, what has become known as the "Benalla affair", after bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, has left an impact on Macron's presidency, denting his popularity and throwing parts of his agenda off schedule.

Macron's government has been under fire since Le Monde identified the former security aide, Alexandre Benalla, as the person captured on camera striking a man at a May Day protest.

Although the government tried to handle the scandal, Macron's disgraced bodyguard ignited opposition of the president's jupiterian ruling style, with lawmakers from the right wing opposition and left parties having each filed a vote of confidence. "This is not just a summer affair, it shows the ultra concentration of powers by an elected monarch, which undermines the very principle of separation of powers".

"We know today that there is a phenomenon of screen addiction, the phenomenon of bad mobile phone use", education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer told French news channel BFMTV, according to CNN. The president was criticised for firing Benalla only after the video was released of him assaulting a May Day protester.

The former investment banker has dismissed the case as a "storm in a teacup".

Criticism also has focused on why officials in the president's office did not immediately disclose what happened, terminate Benalla and refer the matter for investigation.

The affair has taken a toll on the president's poll ratings, which are at their lowest since the former investment banker won the presidency previous year on pledges to restore integrity and transparency to government.

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