25 Jun 2012

Frogier warns of more radical politics in New Caledonia

12:40 pm on 25 June 2012

The leader of New Caledonia's Rassemblement-UMP, Pierre Frogier, says there has been a radicalisation of politics with the election success of a rival anti-independence party in the French National Assembly election.

The Rassemblement-UMP had been the territory's dominant political party for decades but lost its hold on the territory's two Paris seats to the Caledonia Together Party, led by Philippe Gomes.

Mr Gomes has been campaigning against the joint use of the French and Kanak flags on public buildings, saying this goes against the Noumea Accord that prescribes that a new flag be adopted as part of the decolonisation process.

Following the setback at the polls, Mr Frogier says Mr Gomes led a violent campaign that has awoken the old demons.

The Noumea Accord provides for a possible referendum on independence from 2014.

Mr Frogier had in recent time backed off his earlier position that the vote should be organised as soon as possible to bury the independence issue.