8 Mar 2014

UN visit to New Caledonia comes amid acrimony over electoral rolls

7:33 am on 8 March 2014

A United Nations delegation is due in New Caledonia this weekend as part of a mission to accompany the territory's decolonisation process.

The visit of the seven diplomats and experts comes amid acrimony among the two main political camps over the electoral rolls for the May provincial elections.

The French authorities say the UN visit is not one of control but one to take in the facets of the New Caledonian reality.

The pro-independence side has called for more than 6,700 names to be struck off the roll, saying they are ineligible to vote.

The rolls are being examined by special commissions, including magistrates from Frances top court.

One anti-independence politician, Pierre Frogier, has labelled the UN visit an affront.

Another politician, Philippe Gomes, has written to the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, judging it to be scandalous that one of the UN diplomats is from Fiji whose prime minister came to power in a military coup.