1 Apr 2019

FLNKS launches campaign for New Caledonia's provincial elections

6:09 am on 1 April 2019
The FLNKS flag widely used in New Caledonia

The FLNKS flag widely used in New Caledonia Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement has used a weekend meeting to launch its campaign for next month's provincial elections.

The movement said it wanted to use the elections as a springboard for the referendum on independence from France next year.

The FLNKS will contest the elections in the northern province and in the Loyalty Islands province with two lists of candidates to reflect the differences between the Caledonian Union and the Palika.

It will however have a combined list in the southern province which is dominated and run by the anti-independence majority.

Last November's independence referendum gave the anti-independence side a narrower than expected victory which the pro-independence side has taken as a sign it could for the first time win a majority in the 54-member Congress formed out of the three provincial assemblies.

The FLNKS spokesperson Daniel Goa said now was not the time for division as challenges were there, such as inequality and flight of capital.

The pro-independence Labour party, which called for a boycott of last November's referendum, has not been included in the FLNKS line-up.

Voting is restricted to people who have lived in New Caledonia since before 1998 which means that an estimated 40,000 arrivals since then are not eligible to vote.

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