8 Sep 2004

New Caledonian party reiterates census boycott call

12:15 pm on 8 September 2004

One of New Caledonia's main parties has re-affirmed its call to boycott the current population census because of its failure to register ethnicity.

The Caledonian Union, which is a pro-independence Kanak party, is opposed to the fresh census which had been cancelled last year because it was seen to be in violation of French law.

During last year's visit to the territory, the French President Jacques Chirac agreed that there should be no question about ethnicity.

But the Caledonian Union's president, Pascal Naouna, says the new census fails to see if the colonisation of the territory has been halted.

The territory is being run under provisions of the 1998 Noumea Accord which was signed by the anti-independence RPCR party, the pro-independence FLNKS movement and the French state.

Mr Naouna says the territory is now faced with the denial of the Noumea Accord by the French state which should have been its guarantor.