8 Jan 2020

Law change planned for New Caledonia referendum

3:54 pm on 8 January 2020

A new organic law is being proposed in France to change the enrolment criteria for New Caledonia's independence referendum in September.

Ballot box used for New Caledonia's independence referendum

Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

The restricted roll for the plebiscite excludes non-Kanak residents, who have lived in New Caledonia for three years unless they register as voters.

Two New Caledonian anti-independence members of the French National Assembly will table a bill this month to change the organic law so that such prospective voters will be automatically enrolled.

The current provisions were approved by the signatories to the Noumea Accord in October but the two parliamentarians said that breaches the equality between the various voters.

The Assembly president said he would seek the views of New Caledonia's Congress.

In the first referendum under the terms of the Noumea Accord in 2018, just under 57 percent voted for the status quo.

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