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 NEW CALEDONIA NEWS Friday, October 22, 1999 PINA Nius Online

NOUMEA, New Caledonia (October 22, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)--- Pro-independence FLNKS leader Roch Wamytan has expressed confidence that from now on, the Noumea Accord will be followed "to the letter," the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reported here on Friday.

Wamytan, who just returned from Paris, was in France to witness approval of a constitutional amendment pertaining to New Caledonia, French Polynesia and other French overseas territories by the Senate on October 12.

The amendment partly regarded the interpretation of New Caledonia's electoral roll, as written in the Noumea Accord signed last year between Wamytan, anti-independence RPCR leader Jacques Lafleur and the French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

The accord provides for a possible independence referendum in "15 to 20" years and, in the meantime, a gradual transfer of powers to the Territory.

Last June, New Caledonia saw the establishment of its first local government, headed by President Jean Lèques.

As it pertained specifically to New Caledonia, the amendment confirmed that only those people registered on the electoral roll as of 1988 will be eligible to vote in forthcoming provincial and congressional elections and a possible referendum on the territory's future.

"Now that this problem is solved the way we wished, we'll be in a position to look at things differently," Wamytan said.

"We now have to think about this country's development, hence the need to switch to a higher gear."

Lafleur on Thursday reacted differently to the Senators' vote, expressing disappointment and even threatening to resign from his RPCR if the voter roll "freeze" had too serious implications for New Caledonia.

(See news item: http://pidp.ewc.hawaii.edu/PIReport/1999/October/10-22-10.htm )

Wamytan had earlier threatened to pull his FLNKS out of the newly formed government, in which it only holds a minority of seats.

"This scenario still remains a possibility," he commented on Thursday.

However, Wamytan and Lafleur met while in Paris and agreed to hold "more regular consultations."

"During this meeting, we were able to discuss all the problems over which we have opposing views," Wamytan said.

The amendment, which was also passed unanimously last June by the French National Assembly, remains to be ratified early next year by the French Congress, a joint gathering of the Senate and National Assembly, to be convened by French President Jacques Chirac.

Wamytan earlier deplored the failure of some "partners" to the Noumea Accord to respect the spirit of "collegiality" and "power sharing" as enshrined in the agreement.



NOUMEA, New Caledonia (October 22, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)--- Noumea's English Club drama group, which is devoted to the practice of English, is staging Andrew Lloyd-Weber's famous musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" this weekend, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reported here on Friday.

"The production will be all in English, but the program will be in both English and French, so those not too comfortable with English can still understand (the play)," a group spokesman said.

"There will be three performances. This is a show for the whole family."

The English Club was established in Noumea twelve years ago by residents interested in practicing English through the arts.

This bulletin was produced by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA). Editor: Patrick Antoine Decloitre E-mail: padec@iname.com 

For more information, contact Nina Ratulele, PINA Administrator, at pina@is.com.fj 

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