Dec 04, 2017

Corsica: Territorial Elections Demonstrate Strong Support for Autonomy

Photo courtesy of : The Local

On 1 January 2018, Corsica will experience its fourth change of legal status since 1982. On Sunday 3 December 2017, Corsicans voted in majority for the nationalist list Pè a Corsica (For Corsica) on the occasion of the Corsican territorial elections. The list’s leaders, Gilles Simeoni and Jean-Guy Talamoni, reject the option of a separatist future for the time being, but aim to obtain an autonomous status within three years and to implement it by seven. Corsica’s particular identity and claim for the respect of its indigenous culture and language has long met strong opposition in France. This claim is especially in opposition with the French nation-State narrative, according to which there is no minority status in the country, but only French citizens. At a time when the question of territorial independence is under the spotlight in Europe, the results of the Corsican territorial elections make clear once again the rising lack of trust in centralist powers. 

The following article was published by Reuters:

Corsican nationalists won almost half of the vote in the first round of the French Mediterranean island’s territorial election on Sunday [3 December 2017], a landslide likely to fuel local calls for greater autonomy from Paris.

The ticket led by autonomist leader Gilles Simeoni won 45.36 percent of the votes for the newly created, more powerful local assembly, according to final interior ministry results. A second round will be held next Sunday.

President Emmanuel Macron’s ticket only came in fourth with 11.26 percent of the vote. In the April and May presidential elections, Macron had already significantly underperformed his national score in Corsica.

Macron’s Republic On the Move party said in a statement the vote showed Corsicans’ loss of confidence in the central government and that it aimed to rebuilt trust everywhere in France.

Separately, the party also hailed the election of the first mayor associated with Macron’s movement on Sunday, in the southern village of Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe near Toulouse.