(Unità Naziunale – 7 janvier 2018 – 7h00) On Tuesday 2 January 2018 the pro independence leader Jean-Guy Talamoni was elected President of the Corsican Assembly with 40 votes out of 63, and Gilles Simeoni, President of the Executive Council of Corsica, with 42 out of 63 votes.
The pro independence leader Jean-Guy Talamoni was elected Tuesday president of the Assembly of the newly created unique territorial collectivity of Corsica. He received a thunderous applause before starting his speech, which was completely in Corsican language.
Both Talamoni and Simeoni, president of the Executive Council of Corsica, demanded the French government to do a “strong political gesture” to acknowledge the Corsican distinct reality and dedicated the nationalist victory to the Corsican political prisoners and exiles, demanding the central government to bring them back to their home land. « That the Christmas they have just passed be the last past far from theirs, and that the approximation provided by law (…) is finally effective, » stated Gilles Simeoni.
Before the end of 2017, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe seemed to have closed the door to the claims of Corsican leaders: co-officiality of the Corsican and French languages, amnesty for « political prisoners » and a Corsican resident status to protect the islanders from speculation.He disregarded all these claims explaining that all future reforms should be « in line with the constitutional framework ».
Following the overwhelming victory of the nationalists, Mr. Simeoni, president of the Executive Council of Corsica re-opened the discussion asserting that « If a Constitution does not recognize a people, it is the Constitution to change and not the people to disappear » and reiterated their call for dialogue with the central government so that these, and other issues of vital importance for Corsica, are finally tackled.
The two men sworn their positions on Pasquale Paoli’s Constitution of 1755.