30 Aug 2016

Mixed response to UN's New Caledonia report

4:54 pm on 30 August 2016

There has been a mixed reaction by New Caledonian politicians to a United Nations report about the electoral roll.

The issue has been contentious for years as voting rights in provincial elections and in a planned referendum are restricted to long-term residents, with mainly Kanak politicians challenging the integrity of the roll.

Downtown Noumea (capital of New Caledonia)

Downtown Noumea. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The anti-independence side is highlighting that the UN report dispels claims that the loyalists and the French authorities engaged in fraudulent practices.

However, the pro-independence camp points to grey areas identified in the report and to the lack of a right to appeal.

It also questions the enrolment process for Kanaks as the indigenous people who it claims should be automatically registered as part of their right to self-determination.

The territory is tasked with organising an independence referendum by 2018 in line with the 1998 Noumea Accord.

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