Photo credit > Facebook Mikaele Kulimoetoke
Mikaele Kulimoetoke, president of the Territorial assembly of Wallis and Futuna, was elected senator on Sunday 27 September.
He will sit in the Palais du Luxembourg, the French senate, in Paris, among the LREM (La République en marche) group, the party of President Emmanuel Macron.
Being elected is quite a surprise for this 57-year-old left-wing politician. who defeated outgoing senator Robert Laufoaulu.
But Mikaele Kulimoetoke does not come out of nowhere. He is the grandson of Tomasi Kulimoetoke II, former king of Wallis for 48 years between 1959 and 2007.
This election could have great consequences for the archipelago. Mikaele Kulimoetoke, who was a non-commissioned officer in the gendarmerie in France and New Caledonia, has announced his willingness to change the institutions of this territory administered by France. Direct contact with Emmanuel Macron Wallis and Futuna is a French territory, but its institutions are very original. The French State is represented in Wallis and Futuna by a senior administrator (a prefect) appointed by the Prime Minister of France. Executive power is not held by an elected president, as is the case in New Caledonia or French Polynesia. It is held by the prefect. The prefect is assisted in his duties by a council composed of the three traditional kings and three members appointed by the prefect after approval by the territorial assembly. The senator’s role is quite different. The Senate is, together with the National Assembly, responsible for voting the laws of the French Republic. The majority of these laws do not concern Wallis and Futuna. One might then wonder what use a senator is in Wallis and Futuna. The reality is that a senator has an important power of influence within the Republic. In particular, he can influence the decisions of the French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, and the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron.