The new senator, Georges Naturel, has stated his desire to do politics differently.
He was elected on 24 September. The Senate is the second legislative assembly (after the National Assembly) located in Paris. Georges Naturel is a loyalist. His election caused a sensation in New Caledonia, as Sonia Backès, the leader of the loyalists and a member of the French government in Paris, was soundly defeated.
I don’t want to create a new party,” explained Georges Naturel. There are enough political parties in New Caledonia. Today, we need unity to respond to the expectations of our fellow citizens and to the economic and social problems. At some point, we’re going to have to look after the general interest instead of fighting over political parties and individuals”.
A loyalist-independence consensus
What is Georges Naturel going to do in Paris? He wants to reconcile the wills of independentists and non-independents… There are two legitimacies today in New Caledonia,” he says. Robert Xowie (a pro-independence senator also elected on 24 September) and I will bring our vision and our convictions to the table. The aim is to try to map out a common destiny. Today, it will necessarily be a destiny within France. It’s up to us to define the right way of organising it. Georges Naturel has confidence in the senators. “We won’t be able to settle things in New Caledonia by force. What is important is that we manage to find, here at home, the means of exchanging views while respecting each other in order to reach a consensus.