1 Apr 2015

Valls urged to review New Caledonia law

11:16 am on 1 April 2015

A leading New Caledonian politician has urged Paris to review the proposed law which is aimed at defining the electoral roll for the territory's independence referendum due by 2018.

In a letter to the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, Philippe Gomes points out the Congress has voted against the proposal as it stands and which is due to be discussed by the French government next week.

The three anti-independence parties, which have a majority in Congress, are vehemently opposed to a proposal which would set up a roll that automatically includes only indigenous Kanaks.

The loyalist camp has said this is discriminatory and will force tens of thousands of people to seek enrolment although they have been born in the territory.

The pro-independence side, however, says the process to enrol voters has not been compliant with the 1998 Noumea Accord, which is the territory's decolonisation roadmap, and that thousands of people voted last year illegally.

It has suggested that the United Nations may need to get involved to resolve the issue.

Philippe Gomes

Philippe Gomes Photo: AFP

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