A member of the Corsica Libera executive, Petru Antone Tomasi will represent the party in the legislative elections in the first constituency of Haute-Corse.
Petru Antone Tomasi is not his first candidacy: in 2012, the separatist had already applied in the second constituency of Haute-Corse for the legislative elections. He then obtained 2,408 votes, or 6.19% of the votes cast in the first round.
In 2017, it was in the same Corte-Balagne sector that he tried his luck again, this time as a substitute for Jean-Félix Acquaviva, who was elected deputy.
The “Pè a Corsica” coalition has since fractured. And it is therefore under the banner of his original party, Corsica Libera, that the doctor of public law presents himself in the first constituency of Haute-Corse. With the intention of raising the voice and the needs of the Corsican people, on the island as in Paris.
What motivated your application?
Petru Antone Tomasi: It is a candidacy that fits into the political context experienced by Corsica, at the end of Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term, which, from our point of view, was catastrophic for Corsica and the Corsicans, and certainly the most retrograde for four decades. A five-year term that ended in the worst possible way with the death of Yvan Colonna in Arles prison.
It seemed essential to us that a clear political line be represented in this election, which rejects minimalist solutions and which is really in defense of the Corsican people and their rights. Corsican people who, if nothing is done, are being marginalized on their own land.
We think that a certain number of claims around this notion of Corsican people were absent and we want to carry them with force, to propose a way of alternation for this election.
If you are elected, what will be your main actions in favor of your constituency as an MP?
I think there is an important issue in terms of health, with the construction of a new hospital in Bastia which is a modern hospital. In particular with devices that are missing today: I am thinking of medical evacuations via what is called a heliSMUR.
And above all, what makes us different is that we are integrating the construction of this new hospital in the logic of a university hospital center, a multi-site university hospital for Corsica.
Corsica is the last territory of the so-called French space not to benefit from it, it is an absolute scandal. This even though in Guyana, which was in the same situation, things are unblocking, in the space of a few months. French Guiana, by 2024-2025, will have its university hospital. Corsica will then be the only territory, the only country not to benefit from it, and I believe that this injustice must be repaired urgently.
A cycle of discussions should begin between the future government and the elected representatives of Corsica around the possibility of evolving towards a statute of autonomy. What role do you intend to play in this context?
We just want to set the course at the right level. That is to say, not in the case of a new reform of the special status of Corsica, of a simple reform of decentralization which will not change anything in the problems of the Corsicans, but within the framework of a real political evolution which allows to resolve forty years of political conflict in Corsica, and above all to concretely change the lives of Corsicans in different areas of daily life.
For us, the political phase which is beginning must absolutely include the question of a devolution of legislative power – there is no autonomy if there is no legislative power, that is to say the power to make the law, granted to the Assembly of Corsica -. There must be the question of land and employment which must be settled through Corsican citizenship, ie a resident status to enable the purchase of real estate. The corisation of jobs in economic and social matters.
Next, the co-official status of the language. And finally a tax and social status, because today, we realize that in Corsica, there are additional costs both in the case of access to consumer goods for households, and structural additional costs for businesses.
What we are asking for is not a tax gift made in Paris, but a status that is fully adapted to the situation in Corsica. It is at the heart of our program, with also a highlight: the release of political prisoners to show that we are opening a new page in Corsican history through these discussions.
You are not the only candidate from the nationalist movement to present yourself in the constituency. You will notably face outgoing MP Michel Castellani, a member of the Femu a Corsica party. Aren’t you afraid of a dispersion of votes?
I think there won’t be any as long as we don’t say the same thing and we don’t take the same approach. The demands that I have cited, I have not heard them carried in this campaign by Michel Castellani for some, and for others, they have not been with the same force. This is what sets us apart.
And then I remember all the same that last year, Femu a Corsica chose to put an end to the union of nationalists Pè a Corsica which had brought us to power united in 2015. It seemed normal to us from then on that there is an alternative offer. We are not for the single party, we are not for the concentration of power and for maneuvers which, from our point of view, deviate from the commitments we made to the Corsicans, and which in certain aspects may even look like moves we fought against in the past.
If you are elected deputy, what will be your strategy in the National Assembly?
I think the most important thing is to refocus the mandate of the nationalist deputy as we understood it when we participated in the election of the Pè a Corsica deputies. There are 577 deputies in the French National Assembly, and about 570 whose mandate is to deal with the future of French society. There must be 4 Corsican nationalist deputies, if possible, whose mission will be to defend exclusively, but with strength and determination, the rights of the Corsican people.
Sitting in a vaguely regionalist group like Libertés et Territoires, with deputies sometimes very distant from our positions, even hostile, like Mr. de Courson [député de la 5e circonscription de Marne, ndlr], it is not the alpha and the omega. The important thing is to have clear ideas about your voice in Paris.