A coalition of movements pushing for greater autonomy for Corsica looks likely to dominate a newly constituted assembly on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, returns from the first round of voting on Sunday show. Pe a Corsica, or “For Corsica” in the local dialect, had 45.4 percent of the vote, according to returns from the Interior Ministry. A center-right regional list, or slate, of candidates followed with 15 percent. A list linked to the center-right Republicans opposition party had 12.8 percent, and the list linked to the national ruling party of President Emmanuel Macron had 11.3 percent. One of Pe a Corsica’s joint leaders Monday ruled out pushing for full independence, saying: “It’s not the issue right now.” In an interview with Europe1, Gilles Simeoni said “the Catalan model is not transferable to Corsica,” referring to the Spanish region that’s in a standoff with Madrid after holding a referendum on independence.
The special Corsican election was held because two separate departmental legislatures and a regional assembly are being merged into a single assembly for the island of about 320,000 inhabitants. That means there are no direct comparisons with previous elections.
Lists of candidates receiving more than 7 percent in Sunday’s vote advance to a decisive second round on Dec. 10, in which 63 seats will be allocated according to a proportional system. Sunday’s election came a day after heavy snowfall cut off roads and electricity to some mountain villages, potentially keeping some voters away. Turnout was 52.2 percent.