Pacific / New Caledonia

France asked for another New Caledonia referendum

15:32 pm on 12 June 2019

New Caledonia's largest anti-independence party has formally asked France to organise another independence referendum - seven months after just over 56 percent voted for the status quo.

Ballot box used for New Caledonia's independence referendum Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

The 18 Congress members of the Future with Confidence coalition have invoked the Noumea Accord clause which allows for a referendum to be called if one third of the 54 Congress members wish to have one.

In a letter to the French High Commissioner in Noumea, the group said it wanted the vote to be held as soon as possible.

It said the pro-independence FLNKS had signalled that it won't object to another plebiscite on whether New Caledonia should become fully independent.

The party said a quick vote was needed because of the uncertainty.

A date for the vote will be set by the French government and is expected to be no later than November 2020.

The Noumea Accord provides for a third referendum by 2022 should voters again reject independence next year.