in New Caledonia, the omnipresence of Sonia Backès creates a stir | EUROtoday

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Sonia Backès, center, in Matignon, before a meeting with New Caledonian leaders on the future of the nickel sector, September 6, 2023.

In New Caledonia, the first spherical of the senatorial elections will pit eight candidates in opposition to one another on September 24. The non-independenceists have an absolute majority amongst the 578 Caledonian voters known as to vote, however it’s the independentist Robert Xowie who begins this primary spherical in a place of energy. With two seats to be stuffed, the election will happen by majority vote in two rounds.

Among the non-independenceists, this election takes on the look of a major earlier than the provincial elections of 2024. On the one hand, a listing dubbed by the presidential majority and composed of the outgoing senator Les Républicains Pierre Frogier and the secretary of state for citizenship Sonia Backès (Renaissance). Facing them, Gérard Poadja (Caledonia ensemble, affiliated with the centrist Union in the Senate), additionally outgoing, and the dissident Les Républicains, Georges Naturel, will attempt to make their very own music heard. Once talked about, the candidacy of Sonia Lagarde, mayor of Nouméa, the capital which due to this fact concentrates the best quantity of voters, didn’t materialize.

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This division of the non-independence camp contrasts with the unity displayed throughout the legislative elections, simply a 12 months in the past, the place, with the exception of the second constituency in which the Republicans offered their very own candidate, each succeeded in overcoming their antagonisms. Basically, it’s the undertaking of“hyper-provincialization”that’s to say elevated energy granted to the communities particular to New Caledonia that are the provinces, supported by Pierre Frogier and Sonia Backès in the discussions on the future standing of the territory, which makes some of the individuals cringe. non-independence.

A undertaking that carries a threat of ” partition “, in keeping with his detractors, together with Gérard Poadja. Kanak from the north of New Caledonia, Gérard Poadja refuses “a Caledonia other than unitary. I am in favor of permanent dialogue with the separatists, not of cutting the country in two with everyone living on their own, and that is what I want to make heard.” Opinion shared by Georges Naturel, mayor (LR) of Dumbéa, a quickly increasing city in the suburbs of Nouméa. The one everybody in New Caledonia calls “Dédé”, inserted on the proper since 1981, performs the card of the hyper-proximity of the native elected official with the main voters and denounces political backrooms, far faraway from what needs to be, in keeping with him, “the search for the common destiny that we want for our children”.

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