28 Aug 2018

New Caledonia voter registration extended

4:19 pm on 28 August 2018

People eligible to vote in New Caledonia's referendum on independence from France can now register until the day of the vote on November 4th.

This was agreed to at a meeting of some pro-independence and anti-independence leaders at the French High Commission in Noumea.

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island.

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island. Photo: AFP

Earlier, registration for the referendum had to be completed by June 18th for those who met residency requirements or qualified because they have customary status.

According to Les Nouvelles caledoniennes, the new agreement will allow for the registration of a further 3,000 people who the authorities say could not be found.

The make-up of the restricted referendum roll had been contested for years but in November, the signatories to the Noumea Accord agreed on a final roll which added a further 11,000 people.

In the last independence referendum in 1987, more than 98 percent voted to stay with France after the pro-independence side called for a boycott.

Last month, the Labour Party decided to stay away from this year's referendum, accusing the councils in the Noumea area of electoral fraud.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs