New Caledonia elects first pro-independence Kanak president

New Caledonia has elected its first pro-independence Kanak president

Louis Mapou was elected this morning in Noumea after months of negotiations between the two main pro-independence Kanak political groupings UNI and UC FLNKS.

Journalist Nic Maclellan a longtime writer on New Caledonian politics says it is a significant victory for the Kanak people.

“For the first time in nearly 40 years the government of New Caledonia will be led by a Kanak independence leader,” Nic Maclellan said.

“Particularly since the signing of the Noumea Accord (a framework agreement that governs New Caledonia’s politics) in 1998, governments’ of New Caledonia have been led by an anti-independence leader,” he said.

Nic Maclellan also pointed out that Louis Mapou’s presidency comes at a crucial time for New Caledonia.

“The French government unilaterally has set the date of the 12th of December this year for the next referendum on self-determination,” he explained.

Click to read more about this historical moment and the new president elect on RNZ

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