“The President of the Republic must not convene the Versailles Congress”, warns the mayor of Nouméa | EUROtoday

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Emmanuel Macron and the mayor of Nouméa, Sonia Lagarde, on the Place des Cocotiers in Nouméa, July 26, 2023.

Mayor of Nouméa since 2014, Sonia Lagarde, 75, is an atypical political determine from the Caledonian non-independence camp. Granddaughter of a convict, this former centrist MP (Union of Democrats and Independents) was an early supporter of candidate Emmanuel Macron in 2017.

Accused by loyalists of getting labored, through the senatorial elections of September 2023, for the election of the independentist Robert Xowie and Georges Naturel (Les Républicains, LR) in opposition to the previous Secretary of State Sonia Backès, she then misplaced the presidency of the French Association of Mayors of New Caledonia on April 25.

At a time when town is devastated by every week of riots, Ms. Lagarde is asking for a dialogue mission and the suspension of constitutional reform on the unfreezing of the voters. Conditions, in line with her, for a return to calm. She asks to not “go there in force”whereas Emmanuel Macron posed an ultimatum: until there may be an inconceivable settlement between separatists and loyalists, the textual content voted within the Assembly and the Senate should now be adopted by the 2 chambers assembly in Congress in Versailles “before the end of June”warned the top of state.

Nouméa is town most affected by the riots. What is the extent of the injury?

They are appreciable. There was an preliminary estimate of 200 million euros, however it’s far more than that. A whole lot of companies are destroyed, but in addition supermarkets, automobile dealerships, our media libraries. There are trenches on the roads. The precedence is to re-establish the routes to see the extent of the catastrophe on the bottom, as a result of we can’t but go all over the place. Then it will likely be mandatory to scrub up, however the municipal workshops had been set on fireplace, as was the municipal car fleet.

Did you anticipate such an outbreak of violence?

I used to be very nervous for a number of months. I advised myself that this was going to finish up blowing up, going badly. I don't assume I used to be heard. And after I see all this, I who’ve been mayor for ten years, who’ve undertaken arduous work to make this metropolis a pleasing place to stay, I’m disillusioned, offended and unhappy. All the work carried out with our youth is destroyed.

What made you notice that there was a danger of fireside?

Political discourses have been radicalized for fairly a while, on each side. With a sort of regulation of retaliation, the place everybody responded systematically, with invective. We went to compete within the streets, we went on vehicles to say: “We’re going to make a mess!” » [en référence aux propos de la présidente loyaliste de la province Sud et ancienne secrétaire d’Etat, Sonia Backès, au cours d’une manifestation non-indépendantiste].

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