9 Sep 2013

New Caledonia power transfers face delays

3:20 pm on 9 September 2013

The Law Commission of the French National Assembly has expressed its disquiet about aspects of the planned transfer of power from Paris to New Caledonia.

A delegation has just completed a visit to Noumea to help the territory prepare for a possible independence referendum after 2014 which is part of the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

The accord provideS for a phased and irreversible transfer of powers to New Caledonia.

The head of the delegation, Jean-Jacques Urvoas, says the work done on civil security is below the minimum needed for a transfer, adding that little has been done on it since 2000.

However, the delegation found that some adjustments have been smooth, such as the transfer of secondary school instruction.

The visiting parliamentarians say it's regrettable that some discussions are being hampered by political quarrels.

They are expected to have a report for next month's Paris meeting of the Noumea Accord signatories.

The Accord provides for a possible independence referendum after 2014.