22 Oct 2014

New Caledonia mission stirs loyalists

12:49 pm on 22 October 2014

A top French parliamentarian has refuted claims that an information mission to New Caledonia will be tasked with defining the outline of the territory's independence.

Jean-Jacques Urvoas was responding to a statement by the anti-independence Rassemblement-UMP which has been concerned with the apparent lack of clarity from Paris about its New Caledonia stance.

It has called for a peaceful demonstration to show the New Caledonians' wish to stay French as President Francois Hollande is due in Noumea next month.

Mr Urvoas says the Rassemblement-UMP has based its response on an erroneous television report.

The anti-independence camp has also criticised Paris for sending experts on the Noumea Accord linked to the ruling Socialists.

However, Mr Urvoas has told the public broadcaster that the information mission on New Caledonia will be led by an opposition parliamentarian, probably from the UMP.

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Photo: AFP