Pro-Independence and Pro-French Parties Dispute Increase in New Caledonia

One of New Caledonia’s pro-independence FLNKS (Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front) alliance of political parties, the Union Caledonienne (UC), claims it has ended all communications with two pro-French political parties, Rassemblement and les Loyalistes, until “further notice.”

Nouvelle-Caledonie la 1ere, a public access newscaster, reported that the issue that led to the UC suspending ties was a series of comments made by politicians from the pro-French parties after a UC-arranged demonstration led to clashes in the city of Noumea. The demonstration occurred during French Home Affairs and Overseas Minister Gerald Darmanin’s visit to New Caledonia.

The clashes between French law enforcement and demonstrators resulted in five injuries, with one receiving a head wound after a strike from an iron bar.

The UC organized the protests due to the French government’s plans to revise the French Constitution to change the voter eligibility rules for local elections in New Caledonia.

Pro-French parties filed a case and demanded the UC-renewed Cellude de coordination des actions de terrian (CCAT) disband due to it organizing the protest.

UC reportedly expressed “regret” that violence occurred; however, they also accused the politicians of disrespecting the pro-independence opposition.