In New Caledonia, the constitutional invoice rekindles tensions between separatists and loyalists | EUROtoday

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A mobilization of supporters of the Caledonian Union during the visit of Gérald Darmanin, to Nouméa, November 24, 2023.

The vote befell easily in Paris. But the adoption at first studying within the Senate, Tuesday February 27, of the natural regulation suspending the provincial elections of New Caledonia from May to December 2024, paradoxically opens a interval of tensions.

This is the Caledonian file put in on the nationwide political scene. And everyone seems to be actively getting ready for a second, extra essential stage: the examination (March 26 within the Senate and May 13 within the National Assembly) of the constitutional invoice aimed toward increasing the voters for native elections. The textual content proposes so as to add 25,000 voters, disadvantaged of the best to vote because the freezing of the lists by derogation from the nationwide republican rule in 2009. The topic is on the coronary heart of the divisions between separatists and loyalists, purported to agree on a future standing of Caillou, since 2022.

“It is the whole question of the organization of democratic life in New Caledonia that arises”recalled Tuesday Senator Philippe Bas (Les Républicains, Manche), rapporteur of the Laws Committee. “Before the summer, before the Olympics, there will be a constitutional reform desired by the President of the Republic”, assured the Minister of the Interior and Overseas Territories, Gérald Darmanin, on February 22, in Nouméa. While recalling: “The government is prepared to suspend the constitutional process if a more comprehensive agreement approaches. »

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But behind the scenes, discussions on the future of New Caledonia's ties with the Republic took a virulent turn under pressure from the most extremists, before being suspended. There will be no political agreement soon, admitted, this week and now clearly, each on their own, the representatives of two camps adept at lying poker.

Tension strategy

The government believes that an agreement will be favored by the constitutional revision: to avoid the planned thaw of the electoral body, the separatists would then be encouraged to sit around the table and to negotiate better. With this in mind, several groups opposed to independence – The Loyalists and part of the Rassemblement (right) – are radicalizing their positions, strengthened by the support they believe they receive from the government. They will call their activists to demonstrate in March, hoping for a show of force, “At least 30,000 people”, based on Renaissance deputy Nicolas Metzdorf, member of the Caldoche exhausting proper. Some think about thus reproducing the anti-independence demonstrations which welcomed, in 1985, the go to of President François Mitterrand to Nouméa.

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