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Tuesday May 28 2024

New Caledonians protest French expansionism that bends constitution in own favour

14 May 2024 16:00 (UTC+04:00)
New Caledonians protest French expansionism that bends constitution in own favour
Elnur Enveroglu
Elnur Enveroglu
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Protests in New Caledonia, a French colony, are growing day by day. The latest protests started on Monday, before a scheduled Tuesday vote in the French Parliament on a change to New Caledonia's Constitution that would expand French citizens' eligibility to vote in provincial elections. Pro-independence activists in the territory who objected to this are worried about France's plan to expand again in power. For this reason, the people demanding their freedom as a whole stand up and demand that the island be freed from the influence of France and that the amendment to the constitution be removed.

Concerned about this, authorities in the French-ruled Pacific island of New Caledonia shut down the international airport, imposed a curfew in the capital, and called for police reinforcements after protests rose over the territory's voting system.

Azernews reports, citing foreign news agencies, that rioters were still active on Tuesday, around an hour before the start of a curfew, as local state official High Commissioner Louis Le Franc told BFM TV.

Note that the protests on the territory intensified when lawmakers in France's National Assembly discussed a draft law to change New Caledonia's voting statutes, with a final vote scheduled later on Tuesday.

The proposed changes would allow French residents who have lived in New Caledonia for 10 years to vote in provincial elections - a move local leaders fear will dilute the vote of indigenous Kanak.

One of five island territories spanning the Indo-Pacific held by France, New Caledonia is rich in natural resources and is the centrepiece of French President Emmanuel Macron's plan to increase Paris's influence in the Pacific.

Besides, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on X that the proposed new election rules were "a moral duty for those who believe in democracy", but should not stand in the way of attempts to reach a larger political agreement.

It should be recalled that at the 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, which took place recently in Baku, French colonialism was also discussed and condemned by the participants of the international conference as one of the most shameful realities of the 21st century.

In his address, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev emphasised that the policy of colonialism continued today by countries that consider themselves to be the most influential in the political arena, especially in Europe, is inadmissible. When Azerbaijan chaired the Non-Aligned Movement, it repeatedly touched on this issue and called on the world community to fight together against colonialism, the most embarrassing problem of the 21st century.

“We speak for international law, and today, in the 21st century, we cannot afford to allow some big European countries to continue colonising other peoples. This is absolutely unacceptable. When we raise our voice nationally, and previously as the chair of NAM, it's not because we are acting against any country. It’s just because we defend justice and international law.

The world should not turn a blind eye to this disgusting practice of neo-colonialism, which is leading to forceful assimilation. Forceful assimilation of more than ten French overseas territories is absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped,” the president said.

France, lecturing the world about democracy, is today oppressing the people of New Caledonia under the baton of the police and forcing people to accept laws in their favour. Unfortunately, the world is silent on this; by putting the issue of real human rights violations aside, which takes place in the centre of the world, it brings up the so-called Armenian tales and not serious issues for discussion in the European Parliament. It is clear that France and those who support it accept the principles of democracy in this form and apply them by force to the oppressed nations, like in New Caledonia.

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