New Caledonia elects new president

Louis Mapou, who has just been elected President of New Caledonia, was elected President of Parliament, Rock Wamitan, when he attended the elections to establish the 17th New Caledonian Government in Noumea on February 17, 2021. Talk to Union Caledonian Union). (AFP via Theo Rouby / Getty Images)

Radio Australia reports that New Caledonia has elected Louis Mapou as the first independent president since the 1998 agreement with Paris to give more political power to the French Pacific region.

The elections will take place months before the third and final referendum, under which the 1998 agreement, known as the Noumea Accord, can legally undertake whether the island will leave France.

Prior to 2018 and 2020, referendums failed to win a majority in favor of independence, but support for remaining part of France fell from 56.7% in 2018 to 53.26% in 2020. Did.

Mapou is a member of the board of directors of Eramet, France, which operates a nickel mine, the Doniambo Ferronickel plant near the port of Noumea, and a refinery that produces nickel of the type that can be used in batteries for electric vehicles.

He was also Director of the New Caledonia Rural Development and Land Development Agency from 1998 to 2005.

Nickel-rich regions are receiving new interest from international companies looking for materials to fuel the ongoing electric vehicle boom.

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