French Polynesia is apprehensive about social contagion from New Caledonia | EUROtoday

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Moetai Brotherson, the president of French Polynesia, aboard a French navy patrol boat, in Port Vila, July 27, 2023.

“No risk of contagion”, assures Moetai Brotherson, the independence president of French Polynesia, concerning the violence which has shaken New Caledonia since May 13. “I wouldn’t be so sure, Papeete has already burned twice,” nuance Patrick Galenon, normal secretary of the primary Polynesian union, the CSTP-FO. “The gap between rich and poor continues to increase, families can no longer find housing, even on permanent contracts. There are Porsches everywhere, but also three times more homeless people than before the Covid-19 pandemic. The hope aroused among disadvantaged populations by the arrival of the separatists is disappointed in Polynesia as in New Caledonia. he assures.

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As for Mr. Brotherson's predecessor, the autonomist Edouard Fritch, Polynesian president from 2014 to 2023, he considers this contagion doable if elected officers fire up hatred. “Riots in Polynesia are a risk if we continue to make racist remarks like Pastor Mitema Tapati or Ronny Teriipaia. » The first is an independentist elected to the local assembly, who regretted the “bleaching” Population. The second is Minister of Education within the Brotherson authorities and spoke of“invasion” in Polynesia. Both are being prosecuted by Edouard Fritch for scary racial discrimination.

On a each day foundation, nevertheless, there’s little ethnic rigidity in Polynesia. Polynesians are a big majority of their islands, in contrast to the Kanaks, who symbolize solely 41.2% of the inhabitants, in accordance with the 2019 referendum in New Caledonia. The Institute of Statistics in French Polynesia doesn’t have figures on ethnic origins.

A Polynesian citizenship undertaking

If there are a lot fewer neighborhood issues, it is usually as a result of the inhabitants may be very blended in Polynesia, as evidenced by the surnames of political figures similar to Edouard Fritch, Moetai Brotherson or the President of the Assembly, Antony Géros. There stays a Chinese neighborhood and a neighborhood popa'a (white), however they’re a really minority and don’t maintain political energy. The 57 representatives within the Assembly are Polynesians or “halves” (metis).

The social and demographic context is due to this fact very completely different from New Caledonia, the place the inhabitants shouldn’t be very blended and the place the Kanak are a minority on their very own land. The Polynesian deputy Tematai Le Gayic, of the Tavini Huiraatira independence get together, nevertheless defends a undertaking of Polynesian citizenship, which might be reserved for the youngsters of Polynesians, natives and really long-term residents. “Sociologically, it is not relevant,” objects Sémir Al Wardi, professor of political science on the University of French Polynesia. He remembers that the popa'a passing by means of, similar to academics or cops, not often vote in native elections.

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