Lucette Michaux-Chevry succumbed to cancer that day. “Gran Madanm la” had been battling the disease for several months. She turned 92 on March 5, 2021.
Guadeloupe and France will remember a strong woman, “strong” some would say, who worked a lot at the local and national level during her long political career.
A lawyer by profession, Lucette Michaux-Chevry began her political career in 1974, within the Left.
Two years later, in 1976, she was elected county councilor for the canton of Saint-Claude / Gourbeyre, ie, respectively, her birthplace and her adopted city.
A diligent student of her mentor, Lucien Bernier, it was natural that she replaced him, in 1982, as head of the departmental assembly. It then clearly displayed its “departmentalist” ambitions: its desire was to implement decentralization.
The one who was nicknamed the “Iron Lady” defended tooth and nail the skills of her political assembly, against the representative of the state at the time.
Defeated in 1985 by Socialist Dominique Larifla, she led a lively and constructive opposition within the Department until 1994.
This close friend of Jacques Chirac was entrusted, in 1986, with the portfolio of Secretary of State in charge of the Francophonie, in the first cohabitation government, between 1986 and 1988.
In 1988, she was elected member of the 4th district of Guadeloupe, then was again called in a government of cohabitation, that of Edouard Balladur this time, as minister delegate in charge of humanitarian action and rights. of Man.
In 1992, thanks to a division of the Left, yet in the majority, Lucette Michaux-Chevry acceded to the presidency of the Guadeloupe Region, thanks to the support of the group of Dominique Larifla. She remained there until 2004, until her defeat, to the benefit of Victorin Lurel.
Despite this setback, the emblematic elected representative retained her seat as Senator, won in 1995, the year in which she was one of the few ministers to support Jacques Chirac in the presidential election.
The same year, she was elected mayor of Basse-Terre. An armchair that she kept until 2014, before handing over, a few months after her election, to her daughter Marie-Luce Penchard.
In 2012, she also became head of the South Basse-Terre urban community. It will be his last term.
Lucette Michaux Chevry’s political career will be marked by positions, to say the least unexpected.
If she started her career on the Left, she would display very early on her attachment to departmental status, breaking away from the Socialists who preferred a single assembly, endowed with a large degree of autonomy. But, very quickly, the “Lady of Basse-Terre”, who will exercise all the elective positions in the political sphere, will realize the limits of local responsibilities, vis-à-vis the central power. However, she will display her ambitions in homeopathic doses.
She first created the LPG, the party of Guadeloupe, with the slogan “French but major”, then came, in 2009, “Objectif Guadeloupe”, a real political machine, which will allow it to establish its political hegemony, in Guadeloupe.
But it is on December 1, 1999 that Lucette Michaux-Chevry, still President of the Regional Council, will concretize her convictions, for an autonomous Guadeloupe, within the French Republic. She will sign, with the Presidents of the regions of Guyana and Martinique, the “Declaration of Basse-Terre”; Subtitled “political courage in the service of development”. A text synonymous with pleading, towards a new statute for these overseas regions, which aspire to an increase in local powers in the face of economic, social and societal challenges.
During the 2003 Congress of Elected Officials, a resolution accepted by the government, will lead to a referendum, which will end in a defeat of the “YES” supported by Lucette Michaux-Chevry. The elected therefore failed to initiate institutional reform through a single community.
Since then, Lucette Michaux-Chevry has always advocated domiciled power for her country, which she defended in all circumstances.