French High Commission details implications of New Caledonia ‘yes’ vote

The French High Commission to New Caledonia says should voters choose independence from France, the remaining powers held by Paris will be ceded.

Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island.
Kanak and French flags on Ouvea island. Photo: AFP

A month before the referendum, the Commission spelled out the implications of a vote for full sovereignty, while adding that a vote against independence would maintain the status quo.

It said in case of independence the current funding arrangements between France and New Caledonia would be obsolete.

It said a French law would determine to what extent the people of an independent New Caledonia could keep French citizenship.

The outline said France would not depart abruptly but ensure the transfer of security, public order, justice and monetary control.

The High Commission said conditions are now good for the polls to go ahead in all calm.

The High Commissioner Thierry Lataste told the local daily newspaper more than 250 magistrates will be arriving from France to help supervise the poll.

Mr Lataste also said about a dozen UN monitors will be present in locations of their choice and reporting to New York.

He said additional security forces will be flown in, including three mobile riot squads to counter any possible disturbances.

Mr Lataste said the official campaign will begin on 22 October, with both sides being allotted equal air time on public media outlets.

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