3 May 2016

Discord over New Caledonia referendum roll

3:27 pm on 3 May 2016

Reports from New Caledonia say there have been sharp disagreements within the special commissions vetting the electoral roll to be used for the territory's independence referendum.

The commissions include members of the rival pro- and anti-independence camps while being headed by magistrates from France and observed by delegates from the United Nations.

The territory's daily newspaper said some pro-independence delegates refuse to recognise the preliminary roll submitted by the French High Commission, saying the names of about 5,000 indigenous Kanak people are missing although they were to be automatically enrolled.

The paper said that by law a name can only be added to the referendum roll if it is already on the general roll.

However, it says many Kanaks never enrolled in part because France only granted them voting rights after World War II.