30 Jan 2018

Appeal for dialogue in New Caledonia

5:17 pm on 30 January 2018

The French overseas minister Annick Girardin has called for a political dialogue in New Caledonia to make this year's independence referendum a success.

Annick Girardin

Annick Girardin Photo: AFP

Presenting her best wishes for 2018, Ms Girardin said in the coming days the National Assembly will study the law defining the electoral roll for the plebiscite as it was agreed during last year's meeting of the signatories to the Noumea Accord.

The changes to the restricted roll added about 11,000 voters - most of whom are indigenous Kanaks.

New Caledonia's two Assembly members, who are leading politicians of the anti-independence camp, have also called for a dialogue, saying New Caledonians want to retain the energy of those who signed the Accord in order to maintain the peace.

One of them, Philippe Gomes, said while the anti-independence side accounted for a majority, the number's game will not settle anything.

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