He took advantage of a disagreement in the non-independence camp
The pro-independence Roch Wamytan (70 years old) was re-elected on Wednesday 28 July as President of the Congress of New Caledonia. The Congress is the institution that votes on New Caledonian laws (the National Assembly, located in Paris, also votes on laws concerning New Caledonia).
Roch Wamytan (Union calédonienne) received all 29 ballots. Annie Qaeze (Calédonie ensemble, non-independence) got six and Virginie Ruffenach (Avenir en confiance, non-independence) seven. This election is the result of a disagreement in the non-independence clan.
The Oceanian Awakening with the independentists
An agreement had been made in the last few days between Sonia Backès (AEC) and Philippe Gomès (CE) for the young Kanak Annie Qaeze to be elected. Some of the AEC members refused this agreement and presented a candidate (Virginie Ruffenacht). This played into the hands of Roch Wamytan who remains at the head of the institution for the third consecutive year.
The small non-independence party l’Éveil océanien had announced that it would vote for a non-independence candidate if there was a single candidate. As the non-independence party did not manage to reach an agreement, the Oceanian Awakening, which has only three elected members, decided to vote with the independence party. Its president, the Wallisian and Futunian Milakulo Tukumuli, has exchanged his support for economic reforms. He will also be president of an important commission in the congress.
On the way to a referendum
It should be noted that with one exception, all the elected representatives who voted for Roch Wamytan are Oceanian (Kanak or Wallisian and Futunian). This is why President Roch Wamytan speaks of an Oceanian majority.
As soon as this election is over, all eyes are directed towards another objective: the referendum. It will be held on 12 December. The Caledonians will have to say whether they want to remain in France or not. The last two referendums in 2018 and 2020 were won by the supporters of keeping Caledonia in France.