New Caledonia voter registration extended

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island. Picture: AFP

NOUMEA, 29 AUGUST 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – People eligible to vote in New Caledonia’s referendum on independence from France can now register until the day of the vote on 04 November.

This was agreed to at a meeting of some pro-independence and anti-independence leaders at the French High Commission in Noumea.

Earlier, registration for the referendum had to be completed by 18 June for those who met residency requirements or qualified because they have customary status.

According to Les Nouvelles caledoniennes, the new agreement will allow for the registration of a further 3000 people who the authorities say could not be found.

The make-up of the restricted referendum roll had been contested for years but in November, the signatories to the Noumea Accord agreed on a final roll which added a further 11,000 people.

In the last independence referendum in 1987, more than 98 per cent voted to stay with France after the pro-independence side called for a boycott.

Last month, the Labour Party decided to stay away from this year’s referendum, accusing the councils in the Noumea area of electoral fraud.

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