13 Feb 2018

French Senate to discuss New Caledonia electoral law

10:33 am on 13 February 2018

The French Senate is today due to discuss the planned change of electoral law for New Caledonia.

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island.

Photo: AFP

The change is aimed at accommodating last year's political agreement between New Caledonia's pro and anti-independence camps which determines the restricted roll for this year's independence referendum.

The new law will allow for the enrolment of an additional 11,000 people, including indigenous Kanaks and others who were born in New Caledonia but had not been registered.

The make-up of the roll has been contentious for many years and although the signatories to the Noumea Accord have reached an agreement, a nationalist movement remains wary of the sincerity of the roll and may yet call for a boycott.

The bill is later due to be tabled in the National Assembly.

The Assembly's law commission rapporteur will be a former French prime minister Manuel Valls who is soon due to lead a parliamentary team to New Caledonia.

In May, President Emmanule Macron is also due to visit.

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