13 Jan 2005

New Caledonia group disappointed in bid for voting rights

10:28 am on 13 January 2005

A campaign group in New Caledonia says it's extremely disappointed at a decision by the European Court of Human Rights on voting restrictions in the French territory.

The court has ruled against a claim by a former university teacher from New Caledonia.

The teacher was disputing plans to bring back a law that people must be resident in the territory for more than ten years before they can vote in local elections.

The secretary of the right-to-vote association, Christian Boyer, says it was the last chance for those disenfranchised, and it's now left the door open to the freezing of the electorate.

The Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front is calling for the re-introduction of the law, which will stop French citizens from being able to vote if they've only spent a few months in the territory.