In Corsica, nationalists declare warfare on the RN | EUROtoday

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HASAfter the explosive debate in New Caledonia, will Corsica gentle the fuse for electoral reform? The wave of the National Rally that swept throughout the island within the first spherical of the legislative elections was not solely a warning shot for the island's political forces, it additionally galvanized a divided nationalist camp that nonetheless intends to unite in opposition to the breakthrough of Jordan Bardella's celebration.

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“This earthquake is a harbinger of the end of a cycle,” says Jean-Marc Rodriguez, spokesman for the pro-independence celebration Nazione. “We had warned of the dangers that the massification of the electorate would ultimately represent. French citizens, products of settler colonization, express in the ballot boxes ideologies that we have always fought against.”

This radical celebration of the nationalist present doesn’t worry extra. Faced with the outcomes of June 30, which introduced three RN candidates to the second spherical on the island in an unprecedented manner – the fourth withdrew in favor of the proper in a three-way race – it’s bluntly focusing on a “French vote” and is proposing a drastic measure: the creation of a “legitimate electoral body”. Intended to “stem this anti-Corsican expression on our own land”, this demand, modeled on the New Caledonia mannequin, isn’t new. It goals to provoke an overhaul of the electoral lists to order the proper to vote for residents who can show ten years of residence on the island.

“Mr. Simeoni wants to throw French to the dogs”

In a context of a transparent lack of momentum within the nationalist camp, this radicalization of the discourse isn’t insignificant. The first spherical of the legislative elections appears to have marked a turning level in an island that till now was an exception within the French political panorama. Despite the RN's outcomes above the nationwide common within the European and presidential elections, by no means earlier than has a candidate from this celebration managed to succeed in the second spherical of the legislative elections in Corsica.

By popping out on high in two of the 4 island constituencies, with three candidates who had been unknown on the political scene and newly put in on the island, the Marinist motion has shaken the nationalist microcosm. “It's a hard blow, we can't deny it,” confides a pacesetter of Femu a Corsica, the pro-autonomy celebration on the head of the Corsican Assembly. In the columns of Corsica-MorningGilles Simeoni, the pinnacle of the nationalist government, says nothing else and half-heartedly targets a type of parachuting in a political panorama the place native figures often counted rather more than labels: “Three candidates that no one knows and who know nothing about Corsica managed to achieve enormous scores, he declared. This means that the electorate and Corsica have changed. We must draw conclusions from our way of explaining our political project.”

The time when Jean-Marie Le Pen, as soon as the bête noire of the nationalists, was booed by pro-independence activists, prevented from touchdown in Bastia, after which banned from holding a rally in Ajaccio in 1992 is lengthy gone. Thirty-two years later, the far proper managed to shake up the nationalist camp for the primary time, when each events had been current in the identical election. In a fiery speech on the eve of the primary spherical, on June 25, in Bastia, the president of the territorial authority already appeared to really feel the wind of the cannonball.

By calling Jordan Bardella's celebration “the enemy of the Corsican people”, to raised plead the reason for the three outgoing nationalist deputies, the chief of the territorial majority has brazenly declared warfare on the RN. A celebration that he locations “at the antipodes of Corsican values”, however which nonetheless reshuffles the electoral playing cards on the island: Marine Le Pen's celebration garnered some 46,000 votes within the first spherical, and even supplanted the 40,000 votes solid for the autonomist territorial majority.

“Mr. Simeoni wants to throw French people to the dogs and despises our voters,” thunders François Filoni, territorial delegate of the RN and candidate within the second constituency of Corse-du-Sud. When we obtain 60% of the votes in villages, it’s the Corsicans and generally even nationalists who vote for us, as a result of they understood that Mr. Simeoni's majority was incapable of defending them in opposition to immigration and insecurity. They have been in energy since 2015 and what have they performed? The Corsicans felt like they’d been deceived.”

“It's somewhat late to cry wolf”

Faced with the RN, the strategy of creating a common front of nationalists entangled in internal quarrels remains delicate, as they are so divided. The 2021 territorial elections saw the nationalist coalition implode after Gilles Simeoni chose to sideline his pro-independence partners and his former autonomist allies from the Partitu di a nazione corsa. The supporters of the presidential majority on the island, including the president of the executive, had come together to lead the process supposed to lead to the autonomy of Corsica, for their part reproach Gilles Simeoni for his silence during the European campaign, on an island where Jordan Bardella crushed the competition with nearly 41% of the vote – ten points more than his national result.

“He is the one regional president who has not taken a place, whereas we felt the RN wave rising, notes a pillar of the Renaissance camp on the island. It is somewhat late to cry wolf.” The stakes are nevertheless high for the nationalists. At a time when the process supposed to lead Corsica towards a status of autonomy has been stopped dead by the dissolution, the RN result will have a particular impact on the island: the party has in fact never hidden its opposition to the idea of ​​autonomy paving the way for the transfer of legislative power to Corsica.

“In the occasion of an RN majority within the National Assembly, the method can be nipped within the bud, that's clear,” worries a Femu a Corsica executive. Even if the path is narrow, it will still be necessary to discuss with the new power that emerges from the ballot box, whoever it may be.” Making peace after declaring warfare?