6 May 2015

New Caledonians hesistant over top-level Paris talks

3:38 pm on 6 May 2015

Leading New Caledonian politicians have called for more time before holding an extraordinary meeting with the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, to discuss the controversy over the electoral roll for the independence referendum.

Pierre Frogier

Pierre Frogier Photo: AFP

The meeting, which is to be held in early June, was proposed last month when the president of the National Assembly visited Noumea which saw a large anti-independence rally that was in part directed at the French government.

A law defining the electoral roll is due for debate in France's bicameral legislature next month but the leader of New Caledonia's Rassemblement-UMP, Pierre Frogier, says parliament's diary should not be dictating the agenda.

He says a broader approach needs to be taken, accusing the government of sowing confusion and harvesting hate and division.

He says essential questions need to be discussed beyond the roll for the referendum, such as who will be allowed to vote in provincial elections.

The pro-independence camp's Roch Wamytam says his side will be at the UN Decolonisation Committee meeting in New York in two weeks and then has gatherings planned in Noumea.

Roch Wamytan

Roch Wamytan Photo: AFP