July 3, 2017 / 2:19 PM / 19 days ago

France's Macron says could use referendum for institutional reforms

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French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a special congress gathering both houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) at the Versailles Palace, near Paris, France, July 3, 2017.Eric Feferberg/Pool

VERSAILLES, France (Reuters) - 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.

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.

Reporting by Ingrid Melander; editing by Michel Rose

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