28 May 2019

Mixed reaction in Wallis and Futuna to Wamytan election win

7:05 pm on 28 May 2019

There has been a mixed response in Wallis and Futuna to last week's election of a pro-independence politician as Congress president of New Caledonia.

Roch Wamytan

Roch Wamytan Photo: AFP

Roch Wamytan was elected after the new Pacific Awakening party, which emanates from the Wallisian and Futunian community, defied expectations and refused to endorse the anti-independence camp's candidate Magali Manuohalolo who is also an ethnic Futunian.

The public broadcaster on Wallis quoted a customary leader as saying he hopes the vote won't mark a step towards New Caledonia's independence.

Others welcome the electoral alliance as a novel sign of cooperation among Pacific Islanders.

The move is also being seen as a sign of emancipation of the community from Wallis and Futuna in New Caledonia's society.

There has been a suggestion that the leader of Pacific Awakening Milakulo Tukumuli become a member of the government.

A new government is expected to be formed in the next two weeks.

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