1 Dec 2016

Le Pen to honour Noumea Accord

4:28 pm on 1 December 2016

France's National Front says if its candidate Marine Le Pen wins the French presidency next year, she will respect New Caledonia's planned independence referendum.

The party's deputy leader Louis Aliot, who is in New Caledonia, said the Noumea Accord with its provision for a plebiscite by 2018 was a contract signed by several parties and it would be respected by Ms Le Pen.

Deputy leader of France's National Front Louis Aliot

Deputy leader of France's National Front Louis Aliot Photo: AFP

Mr Aliot said the referendum would show the pro-independence camp that splitting from France would be quite an adventure as living standards would fall without French support.

Mr Aliot is also due to travel to French Polynesia but it is no longer planned that Ms Le Pen will visit the French Pacific territories during her campaign.

In the 2012 presidential election, she won just under 12 percent of the votes in New Caledonia.

Mr Aliot said Francois Fillon of the Republicans was an excellent candidate for the National Front's chances because he would get little support from the left and was quite soft in terms of identity.