14 Dec 2006

Kanaks welcome French vote on restricting voting rights in New Caledonia

1:30 pm on 14 December 2006

The Kanak Development Agency in New Caledonia has welcomed a vote by the French assembly to approve a constitutional amendment which restricts voting rights to long-term residents.

It means French citizens who have arrived in the territory since 1998 are not allowed to vote in the 2009 provincial elections.

The amendment will now go to the French senate for a vote next month before a joint session of both houses will be called.

Jacques Boengkih from the KDA says the provision was in the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy and he can't understand why some French people are still demanding to vote.

"They should respect that this is a colonial situation where the colonisation laws and resolutions apply."

If they are happy to live here they should wait until the people of this country have decided for their own future and then if they wanted to stay in an independent country they would be like any foreigner in an independent country.