The leader of New Caledonia's biggest anti-independence party says it's extremely positive that the French prime minister will be in Noumea the day after the independence referendum.
Philippe Gomes of the Caledonia Together Party said the presence of Edouard Philippe shows that France is paying attention to the New Caledonian question at the highest level.
Mr Gomes said this shows that France will not leave New Caledonians alone with the outcome of the referendum on November 4th.
He said, however, that the post-referendum challenges will only be discussed in earnest after next May's provincial elections.
The party said it wants to build a new political organisation which allows living together and pursuing the emancipation within the French republic.
In July, the party signed up to a set of shared Caledonian values, which the other anti-independence parties refused to do.
Pro-independence politician welcomes visit
A leading pro-independence politician in New Caledonia has welcomed news that the French prime minister Edouard Philippe will be in Noumea the day after the vote.
Louis Mapou, who is the head of the UNI-FLNKS faction in Congress, said the challenge will come after the vote and with Mr Philippe present it's possible to take the bull by the horns right away.
Mr Mapou said the only debate will be about independence because in the Noumea Accord France recognised New Caledonia's call for full emancipation.
He said independence is not a question of organisation or finances but an existential question.
In the face of polls suggesting a rejection of independence, Mr Mapou said this won't solve the problem.
He restated his side's plan to push for two more possible independence referendums by 2022.
Mr Mapou said France is interested in a quick solution of the New Caledonia question and with President Emmanuel Macron in power until 2022, his term in office is the one to move New Caledonia to full sovereignty.