More concerns about decolonisation in New Celedonia ahead of referendum

New Caledonia politician Pierre Frogier. Picture: AFP/RNZ PACIFIC

NOUMEA – More of New Caledonia’s anti-independence politicians have added to their concerns about the decolonisation process leading to the referendum in November.

Pierre Frogier, who is with the Rassemblement and also a member of the French Senate, said the cross-party discussion forum set up by the French prime minister was a manipulation by the French government.

The group has been tasked to discuss the aftermath of the referendum but talks have been marred by walkouts.

Frogier said the government was doing its bit to disengage the voting public and may this way alter the outcome of the vote.

He said he certainly won’t go to Paris later this month when the group, originally dubbed G10, is expected to meet again.

The Rassemblement is also unhappy with the restricted roll which applies to provincial elections.

The Caledonian Republicans have quit the group after disagreeing with an ongoing consultation aimed at defining values shared by all communities.

Those remaining engaged in the group are the anti-independence Caledonia Together and the pro-independence FLNKS politicians.

The last independence referendum in 1987 was boycotted by the indigenous Kanak people, giving the pro-French voters an overwhelming victory.

Opinion polls suggest that a large majority will again vote against independence.

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