For the first time in forty-three years, a pro-independence candidate has been elected to the French National Assembly. His name is Emmanuel Tjibaou. And he’s not the first to do so. Emmanuel Tjibaou is the son of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, the pro-independence leader assassinated by a Kanak in 1988.
Emmanuel Tjibaou was elected in the Brousse Calédonienne constituency. In the second constituency, that of Nouméa and the Islands, a loyalist was elected. Nicolas Metzdorf was elected ahead of a pro-independence candidate.
The independentists now have a deputy and a senator (Robert Xowie) in the Parliament in Paris. The pro-independence camp will use its two members of parliament to make its case to the Paris authorities.
The election of a pro-independence deputy may well restore a little calm to the very tense relations between the pro-independence movement and the French state.
Since May 13, riots have ravaged Greater Nouméa, destroying 700 businesses. New Caledonia is plunged into the most serious economic and social crisis in its history.