26 Dec 2018

New Caledonian anti-independence party opposed to another referendum

4:30 pm on 26 December 2018

A New Caledonian anti-independence party says going to a second or a third referendum on independence from France is useless and dangerous.

The secretary general of the Rassemblement Virginie Ruffenach told the Nouvelles Caledoniennes in an interview that it was the only party opposed to last month's referendum going ahead.

She said now a solution had to be found that takes into account the majority view after 56 percent voted for the status quo.

However, under the terms of the Noumea Accord a second referendum is possible after the next election.

Ms Ruffenach said her party was proven right about the plebiscite because the referendum sharpened the divisions and the splits between the provinces.

She said New Caledonians expect the anti-independence side to be united, stressing the significance of the newly formed united front which three parties presented at the Paris talks two weeks ago.

The Rassemblement, the MPC and the Caledonian Republicans are now eyeing the May provincial elections and considering standing with a single list of candidates.

This comes as rival pro-independence parties are also considering setting up joint lists, in the hope of tilting for the first time the balance in Congress in their favour.

The largest anti-independence party, Caledonia Together, is not included in the discussed merger for the provincial election.

Ballot box used for New Caledonia's independence referendum

Ballot box used for New Caledonia's independence referendum last month. Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel