The separatists demand the organization of the third referendum

FLNKS elected officials at the New Caledonian Congress. – THEO ROUBY / AFP

The FLNKS separatists this Thursday asked the State to organize the third and last referendum on the independence of New Caledonia provided for by the Nouméa agreement (1998), which organizes the gradual decolonization of the “Caillou”. The Political Bureau (BP) of the independence coalition adopted this Thursday “a unitary approach” consisting in sending the High Commissioner of the Republic of a single letter, signed by the two FLNKS groups in Congress, the UNI and the ‘UC (Caledonian Union), said Victor Tutugoro, member of the BP.

These, to which an elected member of a minority separatist party joined, represent 26 elected out of 54. Since April 4, six months after the previous election of October 4, 2020, a minimum of one third of elected representatives of Congress can request the holding of the third and last referendum included in the Nouméa accord. While differences opposed the UNI and the UC on the date of the third referendum, a consensus was also found for it to take place at the end of the period “in September 2022”, it was also indicated. source.

Eighteen months to respond

Fearing a victory for Marine Le Pen in the 2022 presidential election, UNI recommended organizing the ballot from 2021, but the political and health contexts called this option into question. The State has eighteen months to organize the consultation, which will take place after that of November 4, 2018 won with 56.7% by supporters of maintaining in France and that of October 4, 2020, which they also won but with a narrower score of 53.3%.

The Nouméa accord provides for the same question as in the two previous elections: “Do you want New Caledonia to gain full sovereignty and become independent?” », Which arouses reluctance on the loyalist side. “We do not want a third consultation which divides, but a solution of the future for the Caledonians”, declared on the television Caledonia Virginie Ruffenach, head of the group Avenir en Confiance (AEC) in the Congress. The elected representative also wanted this referendum “imposed” by the separatists “to take place as quickly as possible”.

Loyalists against a referendum

Also against “a binary referendum”, Philippe Dunoyer, UDI deputy, advocated “a rally referendum”. Prime Minister Jean Castex invited Caledonian leaders to Paris from May 25 to June 3 “for a discussion and work session” to prepare for the post Noumea Accord. “We have to consider the yes and the no. (…) Caledonians have the right to know what they are voting for ”, declared Thursday Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of Overseas France in a joint interview with World and in the local daily life, New Caledonians.

“We made the State services work on the implications in monetary, banking, nickel, on the link with the Republic, citizenship issues, sovereign issues … All these documents will be communicated and can be consulted by the different players, ”added Sébastien Lecornu.

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