8 Mar 2018

New Caledonia Congress set to announce independence referendum date

9:14 am on 8 March 2018

New Caledonia's Congress is expected to meet on March 19th to set the date for the independence referendum.

New Caledonia's Budget Minister Philippe Dunoyer

New Caledonia's Budget Minister Philippe Dunoyer Photo: AFP

A New Caledonian member of the French National Assembly Philippe Dunoyer said it appears that the referendum date will be November 4th.

Mr Dunoyer made the comment after the Assembly's law commission approved a change to the electoral law allowing for the registration of a further 11,000 voters on the restricted referendum roll.

The French Senate earlier approved the change.

The November date was reportedly agreed on last month when ten New Caledonian leaders of the main parties met to discuss the referendum's aftermath.

The exact referendum question is yet to be worded but the Noumea Accord is to expire with a decision on whether the French territory wants to assume full sovereignty.

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