Emmanuel Macron’s Minister of the Interior has proposed a timetable for negotiations to the political representatives of New Caledonia.
Gérald Darmanin spent three days in New Caledonia. He is one of the main ministers of the French government. He is responsible for the Interior (especially the police) and the Overseas Territories.
The objective of this visit was to discuss with the independentists and the loyalists. The independentists had refused last year to meet the minister in France. The loyalists, who want to remain in France, also boycotted working meetings where there were independents. The Minister therefore met both political camps, but… separately.
Secret, but “constructive” discussions…
As is almost always the case, the content of the discussions remained secret. That said, the atmosphere is much warmer. The FLNKS, which brings together the pro-independence parties, has assured that it will be constructive. This is interesting. Let us remember that the FLNKS boycotted the 2021 referendum on independence. The Minister himself said that the meetings had been constructive. The loyalists used the same word. They said they were “satisfied with the constructive exchanges. In politics, Caledonia is used to this tortoise pace…
The Minister proposed the following calendar.
– End of April, beginning of May: working session in Paris with the independents for one week.
– Mid-May: working session in Paris with the loyalists.
– End of May/beginning of June: return of the Ministers to Caledonia. Bilateral meetings (State-independence and State-loyalist). If possible, a trilateral meeting (State-independents, loyalists).
– September: presentation of an institutional project with the agreement of the three partners.
– Early 2024: modification of the French constitution to take account of the agreement.