15 Apr 2004

New Caledonia's RPCR moots time after Noumea Accord

5:14 pm on 15 April 2004

The leader of New Caledonia's anti-independence RPCR Party, Jacques Lafleur, says it is time to think of an exit from the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

Mr Lafleur told RRB radio that every week meetings are held with among others the territorial president to look at what will happen after the 30-year accord expires.

Mr Lafleur, who signed the accord with the pro-independence FLNKS movement and the French state, says a referendum on independence between 2014 and 2019 as provided in the accord is not the solution.

He made the statement ahead of Saturday's RPCR meeting to launch the party's campaign for the May provincial elections.

Commenting on the defection of senior party members, Mr Lafleur says traitors usually fail and are unable to lead New Caledonia.