Published on :
Unsurprisingly, the independence party FLNKS (Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front) on Thursday asked the French state to organize a third and final referendum on the independence of New Caledonia. Provided for by the Nouméa agreement, this consultation should be held in September 2022.
The separatists of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) demanded from the State, Thursday April 8, the organization of the third and last referendum on the independence of New Caledonia provided for by the Nouméa agreement (1998 ), which organizes the progressive decolonization of the “Caillou”.
The Political Bureau of the independence coalition on Thursday adopted “a unitary approach” consisting of sending the High Commissioner of the Republic a single letter, signed by the two FLNKS groups in Congress, the National Union for Independence ( UNI) and the Caledonian Union (UC), told AFP Victor Tutugoro, a member of this office.
These, joined by an elected official from a minority separatist party, represent 26 out of 54 elected officials.
Since April 4, six months after the previous election of October 4, 2020, a minimum of one third of elected Congressmen can request the holding of the third and last referendum included in the Nouméa agreement.
Consensus for September 2022
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.
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 18 months to organize the consultation, which will take place after that of November 4, 2018 won with 56.7% of the votes by supporters of the maintenance in France and that of October 4, 2020, that the latter also won but with a narrower score of 53.3%.
The Noumea agreement 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 Confidence (AEC) in Congress.
The elected representative also wanted this referendum “imposed” by the separatists “to take place as quickly as possible”.
Working session in Paris at the end of May
Prime Minister Jean Castex invited Caledonian leaders to Paris from May 25 to June 3 “for a discussion and working session” in order to prepare for the Noumea post-agreement.
“We must consider the yes and the no. (…) Caledonians have the right to know what they are voting for,” said Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of Overseas France, in a joint interview on Thursday. in the World and in the local daily newspaper, Les Nouvelles-Calédoniennes.
“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 various players, ”added Sébastien Lecornu.
Since February 17, members of the collegiate government of New Caledonia have been trying to elect a president, unsuccessfully due to dissensions between the separatists, who have a majority in the executive for the first time since the start of the Nouméa accord.
The ballot saw the two currents of the FLNKS oppose each other: the Caledonian Union presented Samuel Hnépeune, until then president of Medef, and the National Union for Independence proposed Louis Mapou, current head of the UNI-FLNKS group to the Congress.