8 Aug 2007

France accused of being partial in New Caledonia affairs

3:08 pm on 8 August 2007

New Caledonia's pro-independence Caledonian Union Party says the French state is partial and too involved in the reconciliation of the anti-independence factions.

The party's president, Pascal Naouna, says the French state has a role as an impartial partner as it signed up to the tri-partite 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

In the June election of two French assembly seats, the anti-independence Rassemblement/UMP made gains in what has been seen as a shift towards a new polarisation of the political scene.

The Caledonian Union says it fears that the implementation of the accord will be hampered as the signatories have to work out local employment rules, common symbols of identity and the transfer of power from Paris to Noumea.