Emmanuel Macron Freezes Voting Reform in New Caledonia Due to Unrest

Emmanuel Macron Freezes Voting Reform in New Caledonia Due to Unrest

Following a wave of fatal disturbances in the French Pacific island, French President Emmanuel Macron declared on Wednesday that the contentious vote reforms in New Caledonia will be suspended.

The Indigenous Kanak people feel that the proposed amendments, which would have changed voting rights, would have further disadvantaged them. The problem has led to the highest level of violence on the archipelago in many years.

On May 13, attempts by Macron’s administration to modify the French Constitution and the voting lists in New Caledonia sparked a violent outburst.

On May 15, France proclaimed a state of emergency and sent hundreds of reinforcement troops to assist police in putting an end to the uprising, which featured gunshots, fights, looting, and arson.

Barricades were built by the fiercely divided Indigenous Kanaks, who seek independence, and the French-loyal Kanaks, who sought to either repel government rule or defend their homes and property.

Pro-independence demonstrators blocked off areas of Noumea, the capital, with barricades made of burned cars and other debris.

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“The constitutional bill regarding New Caledonia… I have decided to suspend,” Macron stated. “We cannot leave ambiguity during this period. It must be suspended to give full strength to dialogue on the ground and the return to order.”

The 34-year-old guy, who had been hurt during a conflict with police on May 29, passed away on June 11, according to confirmation from the French Justice Ministry on Wednesday. An investigation into the gendarme’s use of force has been launched, and an autopsy has been scheduled.

The president of New Caledonia, Louis Mapou, offered his sympathies and urged composure. Mapou declared, “I demand the immediate removal of barricades and a return to peace.”

A curfew imposed overnight over the archipelago has been extended by the French authorities until June 17.


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