FRENCH COMMISSION SAYS NOUMEA ACCORD ON TRACK

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 8) - The law commission of
the French Parliament has wrapped up a six day visit to New Caledonia, saying
the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy is on the right path.

The news agency, AFP, says the head of the delegation, Pascal
Clement, has given a positive assessment of the political climate, which has
raised hopes.

Observers say there had been some dispondancy over whether
commitments made by the French President, Jacques Chirac, in July would be
followed through.

He pledged to overcome an impasse by 2007 over who will be
allowed to vote in the territory’s future key polls.

The Noumea Accord includes residency requirements as demanded by
the Kanaks, but the constitutional changes to that end are being challenged in
the French courts.

The previous week, the 5-member law commission visited French
Polynesia to canvass views on the proposed changed autonomy status

September 8, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

 

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