13 Apr 2019

Caledonia Together wants to avoid more referendums

4:37 pm on 13 April 2019

New Caledonia's largest anti-independence party has launched its election manifesto, saying it aims to avoid the further two possible votes on independence from France.

Caledonia Together party celebrates its tenth anniversary

Photo: FB Caledonie Ensemble

The party, Caledonia Together (Calédonie Ensemble), says after the provincial elections in May, discussions should be held to stave off a second or a third referendum as they would be a brake on economic activity and a source of tension.

The party says instead a way should be found for a single referendum on an agreement to pave the way for a shared future in peace.

In last November's first referendum under the Noumea Accord, just over 56 percent of voters rejected independence which was a far lower number than predicted.

It has fuelled hopes within the pro-independence camp that it is now in with a chance to win in either the second or third referendum, which can be called under the terms of the Noumea Accord.

The pro-independence parties have said they will pursue the referendum option, which can be invoked if a third of members of the new Congress decides to do so.

The other main anti-independence bloc contesting next month's election has called for the second referendum to be held as soon as possible, suggesting it will yield a bigger majority against independence from France than in November.

The new 54-member Congress will be formed out of the three provincial assemblies.

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