in New Caledonia, a vote disrupted by roadblocks and tensions | EUROtoday

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Police officers in front of a polling station in the Magenda district, in Nouméa (New Caledonia), June 9, 2024.

Serious clashes marked the European elections on June 9 in New Caledonia, within the northern districts of Greater Nouméa. In Dumbéa sur mer, the districts of Pic aux Chèvres, Koutio and Apogoti have been as soon as once more below pressure. The police intervened and the four-lane Savexpress was blocked at Païta in the direction of Nouméa. “It’s happening again everywhere, stay at home”suggested motorists caught within the maelstrom on Facebook at daybreak.

In Dumbéa, the Robert-Abel faculty deliberate to welcome voters was burned on Wednesday and mayor Yoann Lecourieux feared a “rioters blow”. He needed to solely open his places of work between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and cut back the variety of assessors current to stop them from taking dangers on the street through the 6 p.m. curfew, however he was not heard.

The State had lifted the state of emergency on May 28 to have the ability to arrange the European election and in latest days despatched at least 5 gendarmerie squadrons, two CRS corporations and sixty GIGN personnel as reinforcements – sufficient to carry nearly 4,000 the variety of cops and gendarmes within the territory of 270,000 inhabitants. At midday, participation stood at 8.81%, near that of 2019 (8.13%).

Voters, prevented from going to their polling place because of the roadblocks this Sunday morning, tried to current themselves in one other workplace – the 222,831 registered on the overall listing needed to go to solely 50 websites, the place had been grouped the 296 common polling stations within the 33 municipalities of the territory. “I tried to go to Dumbéa from Saint-Quentin, but it was impossible, it’s war there this morning”testified a younger man from the Wallisian group who got here in useless along with his father and sister to the city corridor of Nouméa.

Evelyne was in a position to slip a poll into the poll field, in the principle corridor of Nouméa city corridor, protected by a big police drive, on Place des Cocotiers. “It is important to vote to remain French, and Europe is very present for us, even if we wonder where all our money has gone when we see the mismanagement of the separatists”, she judges as she leaves City Hall. The septuagenarian, resident of the Vallée des Colons, additionally needs “send a message to Macron”. She remembers that within the Eighties, Caledonians of European origin “thought that Mitterrand would [les] let go. The only one to have defended us was Jean-Marie Le Pen, in the National Assembly. I remember we passed his tapes around under our covers”.

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