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France keeps December 12 date for New Caledonia’s independence referendum

Friday 12 November 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in New Caledonia, Regional

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France keeps December 12 date for New Caledonia’s independence referendum
The French High Commissioner in New Caledonia Patrice Faure Photo: Clotilde Richalet / Hans Lucas

The French High Commissioner in New Caledonia Patrice Faure has just announced the December 12 date for the independence referendum will be maintained.

New Caledonia's pro-independence parties had called on Paris to postpone the plebiscite to the second half of 2022 because of the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has claimed more than 270 lives.

The pro-independence parties said they won't respect the result of the independence referendum, if France maintains December 12 as the date of the vote.

The parties said with a Kanak population in mourning, the situation isn't conducive to run a proper referendum campaign.

The latest announcement by the French High Commissioner has been welcomed by the anti-independence parties.

The anti-independence camp want the December date to be maintained, saying New Caledonia needs clarity.

Two previous referendums, in 2018 and 2020, were won by anti-independence supporters.