20 Jun 2017

Caledonian Union leader regrets boycott call

12:22 pm on 20 June 2017
Daniel Goa, a separatist politician, (L)

Daniel Goa, a separatist politician, (L) Photo: AFP

The president of the pro-independence Caledonian Union Daniel Goa says it was a mistake to tell voters to skip this year's French elections.

The party had decided to only focus on preparing next year's independence referendum and not to vote in the French presidential and the French National Assembly elections.

However, after a candidate of another pro-independence party Louis Mapou made last week's run-off, Mr Goa changed his stance and called for votes to be cast for Mr Mapou.

In an interview with the Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper, Mr Goa said the original boycott call by the party was wrong as the pro-independence side had now missed out having a seat in Paris.

He said his call to vote came a bit late and he expected it would be difficult.

Although Mr Mapou picked up 12,000 votes between the two rounds of voting the incumbent and election winner Philippe Gomes gained another 19,000.

Towns with Caledonian Union mayors showed high level of abstentions, with Ouvea standing out at just under 92 percent.