4 May 2009

Campaigning enters final week in New Caledonia

11:59 am on 4 May 2009

As New Caledonia enters its final week of campaigning ahead of Sunday's provincial elections, an opinion poll shows that about a third of voters are undecided.

They will choose 76 candidates for the three provincial assemblies, with 54 of them also becoming members of the territorial congress for a five-year term.

The opinion poll, jointly put out by the territory's daily newspaper, the public broadcaster and a polling organisation, shows that in the northern province and the Loyalty Islands province, little change is expected as the pro-indepedence Kanak parties continue to be the most preferred.

In the southern province, the split in the once dominant Future Together camp indicates that its components may lose out to the Rassemblement/UMP camp.

Key campaign issues have centred on the high cost of living although a significant decision will await the new Congress as it has to gauge how it will implement the provisions of greater autonomy enshrined inte 1998 Noumea Accord.