8 Jun 2018

French PM urges New Caledonia leaders to make referendum a success

10:10 am on 8 June 2018

The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has called on New Caledonian leaders to work towards making this year's independence referendum a success.

 Edouard Philippe in New Caledonia.

Edouard Philippe in New Caledonia. Photo: AFP

His statement comes after several anti-independence members of a group appointed by him quit it.

This dialogue forum has been tasked with discussing the referendum's aftermath.

The vote is due on the 4 November and will determine whether New Caledonia will assume full sovereignty.

One of the politicians to quit the group, Pierre Frogier, says the French is manipulating the process and doing its bit to disengage the public.

Mr Philippe says the group should in no way pre-empt the vote's outcome.

The last independence referendum was held in 1987 when an overwhelming majority voted to stay with France.

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