They have been calling for the postponement of the third referendum on the independence of New Caledonia for several weeks because of the Covid-19 epidemic which is now affecting the French archipelago. In vain. Maintaining the date of December 12 for the referendum “Is akin to a real declaration of war against the Kanak people”, estimated, Sunday, November 14, the Kanak Liberation Party (Palika), one of the two main branches of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), an independentist party.
“This iniquitous decision is a political provocation. It brings us back to square one before the Matignon (1988) and Nouméa (1998) agreements and undermines any possibility of dialogue on the future of the country ”, Palika’s political bureau said in a statement. “The stubbornness of the state (…) could generate a situation of dangerous tension for civil peace ”, warned the Palika, whose leader, Paul Néaoutyine, is a signatory of the Nouméa agreement and president of the North province.
The High Commissioner of the Republic in New Caledonia, Patrice Faure, announced Friday, during an official trip to a village managed by the separatists, that the government had taken the decision to maintain the third and last referendum of the Nouméa agreement on December 12. He put forward “The health situation under control” with favorable indicators, after Sébastien Lecornu, the Minister for Overseas Affairs, insisted that “Only the health criterion” would be taken into account in the choice of whether or not to maintain the vote.
The UN requested
Loyalist parties are demanding that it be held on the scheduled date of December 12. On the other hand, the FLNKS has let it be known since October 20 that it will not participate in this referendum, the result of which it will not recognize if it stands, arguing that it is impossible to “Run a fair campaign” and a mourning Kanak population – over 50% of the 272 dead are of Kanak origin.
The independence party accuses the state “To have failed on numerous occasions to the required neutrality” and “Chosen to take up the cause for the colonial right”. The Palika finally affirms in this text that “Will seize the international body of decolonization of the United Nations to denounce the absurdity of a consultation of self-determination without the colonized people”.
As part of the decolonization process of the Nouméa Accord, which provides for the holding of three referendums, two took place in 2018 and 2020, resulting in a rejection of independence by a majority of 56.7% and then 53 , 3%.