Kanaks A Majority On New Caledonia Roll - Projection

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

Implications for 2018 independence referendum

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 23, 2016) – A projection of the make-up of New Caledonia's electorate for the 2018 independence referendum indicates that a majority of voters is likely to be indigenous Kanaks.

The calculation was made by a law professor, Mathias Chauchat, and presented to a conference in Noumea as the territory is finalising the roll of long-term residents eligible to vote in the plebiscite.

The local newspaper reports that the projection is for there being 84,000 Kanaks and 71,000 non-Kanaks who are made up of European settlers and other ethnic groups, including Polynesians.

Kanaks are automatically enrolled as are people born in New Caledonia.

People who arrived by 1994 are allowed to enrol if they can prove continued residence since then.

About 15,000 people have another three weeks to confirm their eligibility.

Kanaks are believed to be mainly for independence but politicians have suggested a majority is likely to vote against independence.

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