New Caledonia separatists ‘confident’ as referendum nears

New Caledonian Palika party leader Paul Neaoutyine. Picture: RNZ

NOUMEA, 19 OCTOBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – New Caledonia’s pro-independence politicians say they are confident just two weeks out from the referendum on full sovereignty.

Speaking at a panel discussion in Noumea, they said independence won’t be a jump into the void as the territory has been preparing for independence from France for 30 years.

Paul Neaoutyine, who is the leader of the Palika Party, says people should not be afraid of full sovereignty as New Caledonia is already a quasi-independent country.

Polls suggest a majority will reject independence but Neaoutyine says the right to self-determination is in the Noumea Accord, the French constitution and New Caledonia is on the UN decolonisation list.

The pro-independence FLNKS movement has also restated that in case of a defeat on November 4th, the Noumea Accord provides for two more referendums by 2020.

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