Strong result for Bove in Kanaky

May 3, 2007

The result for Jose Bove in the April 22 first round of France's presidential election in the "overseas territory" (the polite term for colony) of New Caledonia, known as Kanaky to its indigenous inhabitants, was interesting. Bove came in fourth with 5.88%. But in the predominantly Kanak provinces of the North and the Loyalty Islands, his scores were respectively 10.89% and 14.55%. The main reason was the active support given to Bove, who has frequently visited the territory, by the Union of Kanak and Exploited Workers (USTKE).

Since its creation in 1981, the USTKE has been in the forefront of both the fight for independence and workers' struggles. Faced with the division and disarray of the existing pro-independence parties, it decided at its last congress in December 2006 to work towards the creation of a "political alternative". Despite Bove's disappointing result in metropolitan France, Gerard Jodar, USTKE's president, declared his satisfaction with the result and said "we do not at all regret our support".

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