23 Jul 2018

New Caledonian party criticises Labour Party's decision

10:05 am on 23 July 2018
Daniel Goa, a separatist politician, (L)

Daniel Goa, a separatist politician, (L) Photo: AFP

The pro-independence Caledonian Union has spoken out against the Labour Party's decision to shun the November referendum.

The Caledonian Union's head Daniel Goa has addressed party delegates as the territory prepares to vote on whether to assume full sovereignty after more than 160 years of French rule.

Mr Goa likened the Labour Party's stance to that of a marathon runner giving up before the finishing line.

He said there had been a 40-year political struggle to win independence, with the vote now only months away.

The Labour Party said the process had been flawed and therefore urges its supporters not to vote.

Opinion polls suggest that a large majority would vote against independence from France.

In the last independence referendum in 1987, more than 98 percent voted to stay with France.