French government announces constitutional amendments for New Caledonia

By Patrick Decloitre, 28 December 2023
Noumea, New Caledonia (photo credit: Laurent Gass Photographie/flickr)
Noumea, New Caledonia (photo credit: Laurent Gass Photographie/flickr)
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne [...] announced a Constitutional amendment to "unfreeze" New Caledonia's electoral roll. The amendment is scheduled to be submitted to the French Congress during the first quarter of 2024. The proposed Constitutional change directly concerns New Caledonia's sensitive issue of the electoral roll, which had been "frozen" since 2007, as prescribed by the autonomy Nouméa Accord signed in 1998. The Accord saw fit to disqualify French citizens who had not resided in New Caledonia before 1998, in a move that, at the time, was seen as a step to ensure indigenous Kanaks were not at risk of becoming a minority in their own country. The French government's draft Constitutional bill is described as restoring the universal voting rights of French citizens, especially with regards to local elections such as the election of members of the Congress (territorial parliament) as well as the three provincial assemblies. It is believed that due to the previous restrictions, some 20,000 French citizens (most non-Kanaks) residing in New Caledonia are being denied their voting rights for these local elections.
Read the full article here: RNZ


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