Deal Reportedly Reached On New Caledonia Referendum Roll

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Seemingly successful talks led by French PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 5, 2016) – The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says an agreement has been reached about the make-up of the roll in New Caledonia which will be used in the territory's 2018 independence referendum.

Mr Valls made the announcement in Paris after a day of negotiations with the New Caledonian signatories of the 1998 Noumea Accord, which is the decolonisation road map.

He said the issue of the voters' lists will be considered to be settled once residents ineligible to vote have been removed from the roll.

The pro-independence side has insisted that in line with the Accord those enrolled after 1998 cannot vote.

Mr Valls also said he will go to New Caledonia from March 10th to 13th.

The New Caledonian politicians have yet to formulate and agree on what sort of future they want to vote for, be it for further autonomy or independence.

There are also calls for a new accord to largely perpetuate the status quo, but France is adamant that a vote will be held in 2018.

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