The issue of opening up the electorate led to violent riots in New Caledonia. Gendarmerie reinforcements arrived from mainland France and Polynesia.

The night of Monday 13 to Tuesday 14 was one of the worst in the history of New Caledonia.

Hundreds of vehicles were set on fire and many businesses were looted. Several factories were also destroyed by the flames: chocolate (Biscochoc), drinks (Le Froid) and bottled water (Eau du Mont-Dore). The premises of two car importers were also destroyed by the flames. A pharmacy was also robbed. A young pregnant woman lost her baby because she could not get to hospital because of the roadblocks. The list goes on and on.

A curfew from 6pm

The High Commissioner of the Republic, representing the State, has announced a curfew from 6pm for Tuesday night in Noumea. This curfew could be extended in the coming days.

Gatherings are banned in Greater Noumea, as are the carrying of weapons and the sale of alcohol throughout New Caledonia. The High Commissioner has asked Caledonians to stay at home.

The New Caledonian government has announced the closure of secondary schools until further notice. Schools in several communes are also closed. The international airport is closed. Aircalin flights have been suspended. Around thirty gendarmes were slightly injured.

The war over the electorate

The demonstrators are contesting the opening up of the electoral body, which is currently under discussion at the National Assembly in Paris.

One person in five is not entitled to vote in New Caledonia because they are from mainland France and have only recently settled there.

Loyalists want them to be able to vote in the name of democracy (after ten years in New Caledonia).The independentists don’t want them to, because they fear mass immigration from France.This immigration would make them a minority in New Caledonia.

Politicians overwhelmed by young people

The demonstrations were organised by the CCAT. This is an offshoot of the Union Calédonienne, the oldest political party in New Caledonia. The CCAT brings together a lot of young people, many of whom are minors. There is a very strong generational conflict within the UC. The authorities are all the more worried about the situation because the older members are completely overwhelmed by the younger ones…