29 Jun 2017

UN says New Caledonia rolls can be improved

5:18 pm on 29 June 2017

A United Nations report says New Caledonia's electoral rolls could be improved as the territory nears next year's referendum on independence from France.

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island.

Photo: AFP

As part of the decolonisation process, the planned vote is restricted to long-term residents and while the rolls are being adjusted, they have remained contested.

The report was prepared by 12 UN experts who followed up on the contentious registration process for three months.

It recommended that both political and customary leaders engaged themselves more in a campaign to encourage voter registration.

It also noted that contentious entries were difficult to be challenged because access to information can be withheld for privacy reasons.

To vote in the referendum, citizens must have lived in New Caledonia since 1994.

According to the latest figures 154,000 of the 182,000 voters are eligible to vote in the referendum.

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