13 May 2021

New Caledonian pro-independence reps to head to Paris

11:36 am on 13 May 2021

One of New Caledonia's main pro-independence parties has confirmed it will attend week-long consultations in Paris, called by the French prime minister Jean Castex.

Five pro-independence politicians, who are members of the pro-independent Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), in the 11-member executive have resigned.

New Caledonians are expected to vote a third time on whether the French territory would move toward independence. Photo: AFP

Last month, pro-independence Congress members formally requested Paris to organise the third and last independence referendum under the Noumea Accord.

The Caledonian Union said it would join the Paris talks in two weeks to present its proposed constitution for an independent Kanaky-New Caledonia.

The UNI faction of the pro-independence movement has to date declined to accept the invitation, suggesting instead that Paris could send an envoy to Noumea.

Anti-independence leaders will attend the Paris talks.

The overseas minister Sebastien Lecornu said unprecedented questions lay ahead and there was an urgent need to establish what the outcome of the referendum would mean.

A referendum date has yet to be set, but it must be held by October next year, according to the allowances in the Accord.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs