3 Aug 2018

Rift in New Caledonia's pro-independence camp

11:57 am on 3 August 2018

A rift has deepened in New Caledonia's pro-independence camp amid disagreements over the make-up of the electoral roll and the November referendum.

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island.

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island. Photo: AFP

The FLNKS movement dropped the two Labour Party politicians from its pro-independence coalition in the Congress after Labour decided last month to stay away from the referendum on independence from France.

The Labour Party, which has two members in the 54-member Congress, is accusing its pro-independence partners of reneging on earlier positions and acceding to the agenda of what it calls the colonialist state by facilitating the enrolment of non-Kanaks on the restricted referendum roll.

Last November, a deal was struck in Paris under the leadership of the French prime minister Edouard Philippe to finalse the roll, which now includes more New Caledonia-born non-Kanaks.

The Labour leader Louis Kotra Uregei criticised the deal, claiming 12,000 Kanaks have been left off the roll.

The party also said the recently signed declaration of common values shared by all communities in New Caledonia is a new silliness approved and signed by some pro-independence politicians without obtaining a mandate from the Kanak people.

The Labour Party has also reaffirmed its referendum non-participation, saying the Kanak people is being negated in favour of a pseudo-Caledonian people wanted by pro- and anti-independence politicians as well as the French state.

  • Independence vote rolls released in New Caledonia
  • Yanno elected as New Caledonia Congress President
  • Declaration of common values signed in New Caledonia
  • FLNKS seeking full supporter turnout for referendum
  • New Caledonian party criticises Labour Party's decision