26 Oct 2017

Rally in New Caledonia pushes for Kanak enrolment

2:17 pm on 26 October 2017

A large rally has been held in New Caledonia to push for the automatic enrolment of Kanaks for next year's independence referendum.

A Kanak voter enrolment poster.

A Kanak voter enrolment poster. Photo: Supplied

The group of pro-independence supporters and nationalists said 3000 people turned up for the march in Noumea to the French High Commission, but police put the figure at 500.

It was the third such march in a year, with the latest one targetting next week's Paris meeting of the Noumea Accord signatories which is to discuss the enrolment issue.

The group wants all Kanaks to be put on the special roll for the plebiscite without first registering on the general roll.

This concerns about 20000 potential voters.

An opinion prepared by the highest administrative court said a law change could be possible, which would pave the way for anyone born in New Caledonia to be automatically enrolled for the referendum.

The group said it wanted no law change but the outright recognition of all Kanaks' right to be allowed to vote.

An independence referendum in 1987 was boycotted by the indigenous people and more than 98 percent voted in favour of staying with France.

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