14 Nov 2005

Caledonian Union confirms Naouna as party president

10:26 am on 14 November 2005

The Congress of one of New Caledonia's leading pro-independence parties has ended with a call for a solution to the voter eligibility question.

The Caledonian Union confirmed Pascal Naouna as its leader who says the 1998 Noumea accord provides for residency requirements to be met to be allowed to vote in New Caledonia.

The clause is being challenged by the anti-independence parties which now say it is against the French constitution to exclude citizens from voting on the basis of the duration of their residency.

Mr Naouna has also highlighted the party's concern over the nickel project in the north which is surrounded by uncertainty amid merger talks of Canadian stake holders.

He also says work needs to be done to foster the territory's identity with a common flag and anthem.