the National Assembly votes for constitutional reform, after an evening of tensions on the archipelago | EUROtoday

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The National Assembly, May 14, 2024, in Paris.

Despite the wave of violence in New Caledonia, constitutional reform continues its progress after the favorable vote of the National Assembly early Wednesday, May 15. The authorities's invoice, already adopted within the Senate, obtained 351 votes for and 153 towards, with left-wing deputies opposing its adoption.

Read additionally | Article reserved for our subscribers New Caledonia: after the vote on the constitutional reform mission within the National Assembly, Emmanuel Macron calls on separatists and loyalists to search out an settlement

At the guts of the reform is the enlargement of the electoral physique particular to the provincial election of New Caledonia to all residents residing there for ten years. It is contested by the separatists who concern a lack of electoral weight for the Kanaks.

“It could have incalculable consequences for civil peace”reacted instantly the deputy La France insoumise (LFI) Bastien Lachaud. “You will assume the consequences of your actions”advised the federal government Mathilde Panot, president of the LFI group. “This text is a step (…) don't give the feeling [qu’un] global agreement is impossible”retorted Philippe Dunoyer (Renaissance), in reference to the settlement between loyalists and separatists that the manager hopes to see come to fruition.

“It will be a question, collectively and responsibly, of finding an agreement which goes beyond the mere thaw [du corps électoral] and takes into account the path traveled and the aspirations of each person”wrote Emmanuel Macron on this topic on Wednesday in a letter to New Caledonian representatives. ” Without “ of such an settlement, “Congress would meet before the end of June” to vote for the constitutional revision, he added.

The French president specifies having requested the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, and the Minister of the Interior and Overseas Territories, Gérald Darmanin, to obtain the “representatives of pro-independence and non-independence political forces in Paris” with a purpose to “create the conditions for a dialogue that engages everyone”. The want, on the manager aspect, is that the assembly can happen as shortly as doable.

If an settlement is reached for a broader constitutional revision, a “new constitutional bill” can be tabled by the federal government, specifies Emmanuel Macron. Discussions may notably concentrate on the group of future self-determination and the distribution of powers between the provinces and the federal government of New Caledonia.

Read additionally | New Caledonia: scenario nonetheless tense within the abandoned streets of Nouméa

“A major, unavoidable democratic issue”, based on Gabriel Attal

The debates had progressed slowly on Tuesday, Gérald Darmanin, accusing LFI “obstruction” parliamentary by defending amendments which typically solely modified a phrase or an expression. The “rebels” rejected the criticism, assuming amendments “editorial” to learn from talking time on the reform, and by withdrawing some, whereas reproaching the manager “to light a fuse”.

“A democratic process cannot stop because there is violence on the ground”pleaded, Tuesday morning, the president of the Renaissance group, Sylvain Maillard, in reference to the violence within the archipelago which led to greater than 130 arrests, based on the newest report.

Read additionally | New Caledonia: after an evening of violent riots in Nouméa, Gabriel Attal intends to “restore order, calm and serenity”

The president of the National Rally group, Marine Le Pen, and her counterpart from the Republicans (LR), Olivier Marleix, pleaded in unison with the bulk for the vote to be maintained. Conversely, the left referred to as for suspending the examination, or withdrawing the textual content. “Appeasement can only happen through a withdrawal of the constitutional bill”mentioned the president of the communist group, André Chassaigne, to Gabriel Attal throughout inquiries to the federal government.


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“The unfreezing of the electorate is a major, unavoidable democratic issue”, replied the Prime Minister. Calling for “find the broadest possible political agreement”he additionally enjoined “New Caledonian political leaders to grasp this outstretched hand”.

Read additionally | Article reserved for our subscribers In Nouméa, an evening of violent riots awakens the specter of the occasions of 1984

“Bad method”

The reform plans to broaden the electoral physique of New Caledonia's provincial elections. Currently, that is restricted to voters registered on the lists for a earlier session in 1998 and their descendants, de facto excluding residents who arrived after 1998 and plenty of natives.

Around 25,000 voters may be part of the electoral listing with the textual content based on the Statistical Institute of New Caledonia. “It is no longer acceptable that today the proportion of voters excluded from the right to vote in provincial and congressional elections amounts to practically 20%”estimated Les Républicains MP Philippe Gosselin.

In the Senate, a mechanism has been added to permit the suspension of this constitutional reform if an area settlement happens as much as ten days earlier than the following elections, which might then enable the constitutional revision to be allotted with.

But left-wing deputies and independents from LIOT criticize the federal government for “bad method” by having the textual content adopted, which based on them would give, even with out being ratified in Congress, extra weight to the loyalists towards the separatists. Because the enlargement is strongly contested by the latter, who accuse the State of eager to move by pressure to “minorize the Kanak indigenous people even further”which represented 41.2% of the inhabitants of the archipelago within the 2019 census, based on INSEE.

Second consecutive night time of vandalism

Very heavy violence punctuated the night time from Monday to Tuesday in New Caledonia. Shops looted, homes burned, police fired: the French territory within the South Pacific has skilled its most critical tensions because the Nineteen Eighties.

In the city space of ​​Nouméa, the curfew decreed by the High Commissioner of the Republic got here into pressure at 6 p.m. native time, Tuesday night (9 a.m. in Paris), however at dusk, acts of vandalism have began once more. Several public infrastructures within the capital burned, famous an Agence France-Presse (AFP) correspondent. Damaged or charred automobiles had been additionally seen in all places within the streets, whereas vans carrying cellular gendarmes, amongst different regulation enforcement businesses, crisscrossed the town.

On Wednesday morning, meals shortages, because of a scarcity of provides in shops, had been obvious, resulting in very lengthy queues in entrance of shops. Some in Nouméa had been stormed, others had been virtually empty, having no extra bread or rice to promote, famous the AFP correspondent.

The separatists condemned the violence which has erupted since Monday in New Caledonia, and referred to as for“appeasement” whereas condemning the vote within the Assembly on the constitutional invoice. Having nonetheless “not aimed at starving and aggravating the already difficult social and economic situation of families”the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) referred to as in a press launch “to the lifting of the roadblocks to allow [le] free access of the population to products, services and basic needs”.

The primary determine of the non-independence camp, the previous Secretary of State Sonia Backès, denounced the anti-White racism of demonstrators who burned down the home of her father, a septuagenarian, exfiltrated by the GIGN.

The World with AFP

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