8 May 2006

FLNKS leaders off to Paris to lobby for New Caledonia constitutional change

3:18 pm on 8 May 2006

Top leaders of New Caledonia's pro-indepedence FLNKS movement have flown to Paris to lobby French politicians to support a proposed constitutional change on the eligibility of the territory's voters.

Those who have gone to France include the president of the northern province, Paul Neaoutyine, and the FLNKS spokesman, Victor Tutugoro.

In March, the French government presented a constitutional law proposal which would restrict voting rights to those who in 1998 have lived in New Caledonia for ten years.

The provision is a key aspect of the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy which the anti-independence RPCR and the pro-independence FLNKS movement signed with France.

The anti-independence party is against the clause, saying it is against basic rights but the government in Paris wants to honour the commitment for a constitutional change.