President Emmanuel Macron promised, Thursday, May 23, not to pass “forcibly” on the reform of the electoral body, the cause of violent riots in New Caledonia, and wanted a vote from New Caledonians in the event of global political agreement.

“After listening to everyone (…) I committed that this reform would not be implemented in force today (…) and that we would give ourselves a few weeks to allow for appeasement, the resumption of dialogue with a view to of a global agreement”, broader than the constitutional reform of the electoral body which triggered the violence, he said during a press briefing at the end of an express visit to New Caledonia.

The Head of State undertook to provide a progress update “within a month”, thus seeming to delay a final vote on electoral reform, provided however that order is restored. He had initially warned that Congress would be convened “by the end of June” to definitively adopt this reform if a global agreement on the institutional status of the archipelago was not found. The majority of the political class is now calling for the postponement of this Congress to calm things down.

Call for the lifting of the roadblocks

“My wish is to be able to obtain a cessation of hostilities and therefore the lifting of roadblocks and fixed points, a return to calm, an end to the state of emergency, and a resumption of dialogue. And, on this basis, at that time, I will be the first to propose that we take more time to have a global agreement that fits into the Constitution,” stressed Emmanuel Macron. “My wish is also that this agreement can be submitted to the vote of [New] Caledonians,” he added.

He also promised “emergency aid” after the “colossal” damage caused by the rioters which affected citizens and businesses alike and requested a lifting of the roadblocks “in the coming hours” to lift the state of emergency. emergency in effect since May 15. “I asked and I am asking here that all those responsible explicitly call for the lifting of roadblocks and fixed points. This is the request that I have made, in particular to the FLNKS and [at the] CCAT, and that this be done in the coming hours,” he declared.