7 Mar 2012

New Caledonia pro-independence side backs Hollande candidacy

1:02 pm on 7 March 2012

New Caledonia's pro-independence parties have joined a committee supporting the Socialist politician Francois Hollande in the French presidential campaign.

A spokesperson for the FLNKS movement says the next five-year presidential term will coincide with the final phase of the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

Charles Washetine says in contrast to Nicolas Sarkozy who has spoken out for New Caledonia to stay French, Mr Hollande is yet to to state his position.

The group says the left has been demonised in New Caledonia for decades but points out it was the left that has brought peace to the territory, with the Matignon Accords under Michel Rocard and the Noumea Accord under Lionel Jospin.

In the 2007 election, Mr Sarkozy achieved his best result in New Caledonia.