16 Jun 2017

Unity bid among New Caledonia's loyalists

12:04 pm on 16 June 2017

Four New Caledonian anti-independence parties have agreed to a joint declaration of unity ahead of this weekend's run-off election of a new French National Assembly.

The French National Assembly

The French National Assembly Photo: AFP

They call to work for a New Caledonia that stays with France and lives in peace.

This comes amid worsening rifts within the anti-independence camp which have been exacerbated by the election campaign.

An unsuccessful candidate and former president Harold Martin said in this weekend's run-off, voters should choose the pro-independence candidate Louis Mapou over Philippe Gomes, who is the most prominent anti-independence politician and the incumbent in the Paris seat.

The local National Front chapter also urged voters not to vote for Mr Gomes.

A senior member of the Republicans Gael Yanno said unless there is a change the loyalist camp will end up destroying itself.

The declaration said there is a need to prepare for a future within France as the independence referendum is due next year while there is huge change of the political landscape in France.

The sudden rise of the Emmanuel Macron-led movement has removed all French veteran leaders who had been involved in the decolonisation process outlined in the 1998 Noumea Accord.