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Macron Acting In 'Worst Colonial Tradition Of France' On New Caledonia: Left-Wing Lawmaker

23.05.2024 17:12

French president ‘truly understood nothing from’ situation in overseas territory of New Caledonia, says Thomas Portes.

A French left-wing lawmaker on Thursday criticized President Emmanuel Macron over his stance on the riot-hit overseas territory of New Caledonia.

Earlier, President Emmanuel Macron arrived in New Caledonia's capital Noumea to set up a dialogue mission to tackle the political issue on the island.

During his early meetings in the overseas territory, Macron called for calm but said that peace could not come at the cost of "denying the road that has already been taken," referring to the results of three referendums on the overseas territory.

In a post on X, left-wing lawmaker Thomas Portes, a member of the party La France Insoumise, described Macron's statement as "a declaration of war" on the indigenous Kanak people.

"Macron confirmed here that he acts in the worst colonial tradition of France. The monarch wants to subdue a colonized people. He truly understood nothing from the situation," Portes wrote.

He also accused Macron of fueling the issue and said that the key to taming the riots is to withdraw the bill that sparked the controversy and provoked the riots last week.

After meetings with local elected officials, Macron met with the loyalists and the pro-independence groups, according to the broadcaster BFMTV.

The Pacific archipelago has been gripped by unrest since last week, sparked by a bill to review electoral rules.

If the changes to electoral rules are adopted, French nationals who have lived in the island nation for at least 10 years will be eligible to vote in local elections.

Locals, however, are concerned that the changes will dilute the indigenous Kanak population's vote.

France declared a state of emergency and deployed additional forces to assist local forces in reinstating order.

The French government's decision to ban access to the social media app TikTok in New Caledonia on May 15, soon after tensions rose, sparked controversy.

The government said it aimed to counter communication between the rioters.

French human rights groups contested the ban before the Council of State and the government had to justify its decision upon request of this court. -

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