8 Oct 2020

Kanaks confirm push for third New Caledonia referendum

4:21 pm on 8 October 2020

New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement has confirmed that it will request a third and last referendum on independence from France.

Last Sunday, 53 percent voted against independence in the second of three possible referendums - three percent less than in 2018.

The FLNKS spokesman Victor Tutugoro said his side now had the wind in its sails, describing the last result as a victory which indicated the direction that the country must take.

Victor Tutugoro

Victor Tutugoro Photo: AFP or licensors

Under the terms of the Noumea Accord, a third of members of New Caledonia's Congress is needed to request the next referendum six months after the last plebiscite.

Mr Tutugoro said the FLNKS believed it had convinced people beyond its traditional electorate, with non-Kanak voices now supporting its cause.

Both New Caledonia's anti-independence parties as well as French politicians are keen to avoid a third referendum and instead seek a dialogue for a new arrangement.

The FLNKS, however, has warned it will only engage in discussions on the basis of its political project of achieving full sovereignty and independence.

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