The aim is to find a solution for the future of New Caledonia with two opposing camps, the independentists and the loyalists.
One of the main ministers of the French government continues his visit to New Caledonia. Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, also deals with all the overseas territories of France. He is in New Caledonia to find a way out of the Noumea agreement signed in 1998 between the loyalists and the independents. The anti-independenceists have lost all three independence referendums held since 2018. However, they do not recognise the result of the third referendum, in 2021, since they boycotted it.
Negotiations that will last several months…
The independentists refused the three-way negotiations (independentists, loyalists and the state). However, they accepted to discuss with the State representative. There were several meetings with Gerald Darmanin. On their side, the loyalists also met the minister. As always in such cases, the participants were very discreet about the content of the exchanges. One of the main topics of discussion concerned the electoral body. The independentists want to keep it that way. Only Caledonian citizens can vote in local elections.
Flash visit to Vanuatu
The loyalists want all French people who have been living in New Caledonia for a certain period of time (a few years) to be able to vote. The three partners (independentists, loyalists and the representatives of the State) give themselves the whole year 2023 to find an agreement… We will come back regularly on the evolution of what the politicians in France call, “the Caledonian file”. After a few hours in Vanuatu, the Minister will return to Paris where a hot topic awaits him. There are indeed big demonstrations against the pension reform.
Photo: On the left, Nicolas Metzdorf, Caledonian deputy in the French parliament, in the centre Gerald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior of the French government. On the right, Jean-François Carenco, Minister for Overseas Territories of the French government.