4 Sep 2017

Unease over New Caledonia roll persists

11:50 am on 4 September 2017

There is continued unease among loyalists in New Caledonia over the electoral roll for next year's independence referendum.

The New Caledonia congress.

The New Caledonia congress. Photo: AFP

A court decision is expected by the end of the week to determine whether all people born in New Caledonia are automatically registered on the general roll.

If the court agrees it would clear the way for the automatic registration of all indigenous people on the restricted roll used for the referendum.

However, non-indigenous people born in New Caledonia would still need to prove that they are eligible to vote in the referendum.

Loyalists consider this to be unfair and say they are exploring legal options.

Senior New Caledonian politicians are in Paris working on the case.

Kanak leaders have insisted that all indigenous people be automatically enrolled for the referendum as it is foremost up to them to determine how to end the decolonisation process.

There are also claims that the authorities have been skewing the registration process to include settlers who have failed to meet the residency requirements.

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