13 Oct 2010

Outgoing French HC in New Caledonia accused of going beyond mandate

4:22 pm on 13 October 2010

The president of New Caledonia's Congress, Harold Martin, has accused the outgoing French high commissioner, Yves Dassonville, of having gone beyond his mandate as an arbiter in the decolonisation process.

Mr Martin has told the Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper that while Mr Dassonville has done a good job in restoring public order, it is unacceptable for him to subtly preach a form of independence.

He also says there is still no sign of the planned committee to look at the period after 2014 when the 1998 Noumea Accord demands that plans for a possible referendum on independence be drawn up.

At the same time, Mr Martin says the next high commissioner has no knowledge of New Caledonia and may only last a year and a half as he will turn 65 to retire.

Albert Dupuy was named last week after being suspended in the Isere department in the aftermath of the Grenoble riots in July.