1 Aug 2019

New Caledonia group takes France to court over voter registration system

4:46 pm on 1 August 2019

A group in New Caledonia has decided to take France to the European Court of Human Rights over its voter registration system.

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept, court

Photo: ikiryo/123RF

As part of the Noumea Accord, France restricted New Caledonia's roll in provincial elections to citizens who arrived and registered before 1998.

Similar restrictions apply to the roll used for the independence referendums.

The group, One Heart One Vote, which considers the system as discriminatory, unsuccessfully challenged Paris to loosen the rolls before last May's provincial elections.

Pro-independence politicians representing indigenous Kanak, who are a minority, also ruled out revisiting the issue.

One Heart One Vote now wants the European court to help restore voting rights to an estimated 40,000 people who fail to meet the criteria enshrined in a French organic law of 1999.

Full voting rights in New Caledonia are only granted to French citizens in municipal elections and national elections.

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