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The Caledonian Union (French: Union calédonienne, UC) is a pro-independence and the oldest political party in New Caledonia. In the latest legislative elections of May 10, 2009, the party won around 11.65% of the popular vote, and 9 out of 54 seats in the Territorial Congress.
History[edit source | edit]
The Caledonian Union was born as a cross-community (multi-ethnic) autonomist[further explanation needed] party led by Maurice Lenormand, who was the island's sole representative in the French National Assembly. There he sat with the Popular Republican Movement, or MRP, and other Christian democratic parties in France.
However, the UC opposed to the arrival of Gaullist centralism in France, which undid most of the autonomist reforms of the French Fourth Republic (the Defferre laws). The UC grew more and more radical, and started flirting with independence, which eventually led to an outflow of Caldoches into new loyalist parties, such as the Rally for Caledonia in the Republic. Combined with corruption scandals, this weakened the party considerably.
In 1977 in Bourail, the UC adopted a nationalist platform, supported by Jean-Marie Tjibaou (and the rare European nationalists, such as Maurice Lenormand and Pierre Declercq). In 1979, the UC joined with the Party of Kanak Liberation (FLNKS) and other parties to form the Nationalist Front, which became the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) in 1984.
The UC was the largest faction in the FLNKS, led by Tjibaou. It was largely moderate, as opposed to the more radical Palika. Tjibaou was killed in 1989 by an extremist Kanak nationalist. In 2001, Roch Wamytan, the moderate leader of the UC, lost an election to Pascal Naouna, a radical. The UC has since broken with Palika within the FLNKS, which has no unitary president and is very divided. Charles Pidjot, Roch Pidjot's nephew, replaced Naouna in 2007. He died in 2012 and was then replaced himself by Daniel Goa
In the 2009 provincial elections, the party won 9 seats in the Congress of New Caledonia and around 11.65% of the vote. However, in the South Province, the UC ran on a common slate with Palika and won one of the four seats won by that list.
The UC controls the provincial presidency of the Loyalty Islands.
Ideology[edit source | edit]
The UC favour the concept of independence-association similar to the Marshall Islands. However, the UC has taken a radical stance in favour of strict adherence to the terms of the Nouméa Accord, no talks with the loyalists. For example, the UC boycotted the visit of Jacques Chirac to the island in 2003.
Notes and references[edit source | edit]
- In the legislative elections of May 9, 2004, the party won 11.9 % of the popular vote, and 7 out of 54 seats in the Territorial Congress.
- Pierre Bergès, Maurice Lenormand, Roch Pidjot, Matéo Aripoindi, Raphaël Bouanaoué, Kowi Bouillant, André Caron, Doui Matayo Wetta, Luther Enoka, Louis Eschembrenner, James Haeweng, Michel Kauma, Georges Newland, Elia Thidjine, Marc Tivollier
- Members of "Conseil General" from 1940 to 1957 Archived 2014-10-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Congress of New Caledonia (in French), 2004