2 May 2016

New Caledonia referendum roll to be vetted

6:52 am on 2 May 2016

Special commissions in New Caledonia are today due to start vetting the electoral roll to be used for the territory's independence referendum.

French prime minister Manuel Valls

The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has just visited Noumea. Photo: AFP

According to the Noumea Accord, a vote is due by 2018 and the commissions are to finalise the names of those eligible to vote.

The roll is restricted to long-term residents in line with a change to the French constitution, but there have been long-running disputes over the reliability of the roll.

To add credibility to the process, United Nations observers have been invited to follow the proceedings.

Last week, the French High Commission organised an extraordinary sitting of the territory's Congress to approve the lists of foreign experts.

The team is led by a diplomat from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.