10 Oct 2017

New Caledonians dismayed at Paris mission row

2:25 pm on 10 October 2017

Politicians in New Caledonia are dismayed about the dispute in France over the make-up of a parliamentary mission due to visit the territory.

The French leftist politician Jean-Luc Melenchon has quit a parliamentary mission to New Caledonia in protest at former prime minister Manuel Valls.

The French leftist politician Jean-Luc Melenchon has quit a parliamentary mission to New Caledonia in protest at former prime minister Manuel Valls. Photo: AFP

The mission is tasked to study the territory before next year's independence referendum.

A top left-wing politician Jean Luc Melenchon has quit the mission in protest at it being headed by a former prime minister Manuel Valls who is outraged to be seen as beholden to right-wing ideas.

Philippe Gomes, who is a local anti-independence politician and a vice-president of the mission, says the New Caledonia issue needs to be handled with discernment and wisdom, leaving no room for that kind of political bickering.

The pro-independence Labour Party leader Louis Kotra-Uregei said the French mission was phoney anyway and Mr Valls wasn't impartial.

An anti-independence politician Sonia Backes has called for an end to the settling of scores on the back of New Caledonians.

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