10 Mar 2014

Disagreements on New Caledonia roll as French magistrates review

8:22 am on 10 March 2014

Disagreements continue in New Caledonia about the make-up of the electoral rolls for the May provincial elections.

Ten magistrates of France's highest court have been in Noumea for a week and assisted in meetings of special administrative commissions vetting the rolls.

Under the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy, those eligible to vote in the next election must have been in the territory since 1998.

The pro-independence camp insists that this means they must have been on the 1998 roll and therefore more than 6,700 names are to be struck off.

It says, however, that the evidence submitted to the judges has been deemed insufficient to eliminate the names - a position welcomed by the anti-independence side.

The pro-independence side says it will appeal against some of the decisions.

The Congress formed after the May polls has a four-year window to organise an independence referendum.