27 Feb 2014

New Caledonia call to revise constitution amid roll row

2:36 pm on 27 February 2014

Some of New Caledonia's main anti-independence parties have called for a change to the constitution and a delay of the May provincial election amid disputes over the make-up of the electoral roll.

The Rassemblement-UMP says it doubts the intentions of the French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, who said the electoral rolls will be in line with the intentions of the signatories of the Noumea Accord.

Under the terms of the Accord, voters in the provincial elections must have been enrolled by 1998 but details of the provisions are being challenged, with the pro-independence FLNKS movement calling for 6,700 names to be struck off.

The Rassemblement-UMP says Mr Ayrault's statement to the National Assembly has clarified nothing and the committee of the Noumea Accord signatories has to be convened urgently.

The constitution was changed in 2007 in response to a Kanak push to ensure the indigenous population wasn't outnumbered by waves of migrants.

A dozen magistrates from France's highest court will go through the electoral lists from Monday.