The aim of these two demonstrations was to put pressure on the French government and parliament.

There was a very special atmosphere in Nouméa on Saturday 13 April. Two political demonstrations were held simultaneously in the city centre. One was organised by the independentistas, the other by the independentistas. Large numbers of police were in the city to prevent an outbreak of violence. The pro-independence movement rejected the plan to unfreeze the electoral roll. They do not want people from mainland France to be able to vote in local elections. They believe that this would prevent them from gaining independence through a democratic vote. Roch Wamytan, President of the pro-independence Congress (Union Calédonienne), told the conference that the French government had “touched a taboo” by wanting to unfreeze the electoral body. According to him, “Peace is threatened because the State is no longer impartial”.

Similarities with the civil war of the 1980s

The non-independenceists, on the other hand, want to unfreeze the electoral body so that everyone can vote. They see it as a question of democracy. They demand the fundamental principle of one man, one vote.The electoral body is the main bone of contention between the two major political tendencies.

The atmosphere is so tense at present that the whole of New Caledonia is holding its breath, thinking of the civil war of the 1980s.For some observers, the current situation is very similar to what it was before the bloody events of the 80s.

In the end, everything went well.No acts of violence were reported during the demonstrations.But there were a lot of people.There were probably around 15,000 people at each demonstration.That’s a lot for a small country with a population of 270,000.