24 Jul 2019

Fear for tension over New Caledonia referendums

1:43 pm on 24 July 2019

New Caledonia's parliamentarians in France have warned against proceeding with the independence referendums provided for under the Noumea Accord.

Ballot box used for New Caledonia's independence referendum

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

The three politicians of the anti-independence Caledonia Together party said holding the votes will aggravate tensions.

In last November's vote more than 56 percent opted for the status quo, but the Noumea Accord allows for two more votes within four years to complete the decolonisation process.

The anti-independence Future with Confidence group, which in this year's election emerged as the strongest single political force, and the pro-independence FLNKS have both asked Paris to proceed and hold the next plebiscite.

Caledonia Together's National Assembly members Philippe Dunoyer and Philippe Gomes as well as Senator Gerard Poadja have raised their concerns with the prime minister Edouard Philippe.

They said instead of the two referendums, there should be a broad discussion among the political parties to hold a one-off vote on a referendum of projects.

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