27 Jan 2021

Palika again calls for early New Caledonia referendum

9:14 am on 27 January 2021

New Caledonia's pro-independence Palika party has restated that it wants the next referendum on independence from France to be held before the next year's French presidential election.

The last vote on independence last October saw a small majority opt for the status quo.

Under the Noumea Accord only a third of Congress members is needed to trigger a third and final referendum.

With pro-independence parties keen to proceed, they are expected to make their request in April, which is the earliest date possible.

Palika leaders say the vote should then be organised well before May 2022 as not to turn a New Caledonian affair into an all-French issue.

Anti-independence parties, however, are against a further referendum, suggesting instead a new arrangement within the French republic.