French government invokes special power to pass centerpiece economic reform without vote

The French government has decided to invoke a constitutional article allowing for passage of a bill without a vote to get its economic reform bill through a contentious lower house. The decision came shortly before a scheduled vote on the measure that is a centerpiece of President Francois Hollande's economic strategy.

The conclusion was made after a brief emergency Cabinet meeting, part of a dramatic power struggle within the governing Socialist Party, where a group of mavericks are contesting the bill authored by Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron. Premier Manuel Valls showed steely determination in debate ahead of the vote, saying the government "will do all so this law passes."

The rival conservatives had said it would file a censure motion if the government used the article to pass the vote.