A group representing French residents of New Caledonia plan to hold a demonstration outside the French High Commission in Noumea on Saturday, October 10, calling for voting rights in the territory's provincial elections and referendums. The demonstration has been scheduled to coincide with the visit of French minister Sebastien Lecornu following the narrow defeat of New Caledonia's second independence referendum on Sunday, October 4.
Saturday's demonstration is likely to be small and peaceful, but localized disruptions and an increased police presence are possible in the vicinity of the French High Commission.
Although able to participate in municipal and French national elections, around 40,000 French residents of New Caledonia are not eligible to vote in provincial elections and referendums in the territory, which are only open to indigenous Kanaks and those who moved to the territory before the signing of the 1998 Noumea Accord.
Sunday's independence referendum, the second to be held under the conditions of the Noumea Accord, resulted in a narrow 53 percent majority in support of remaining aligned with France, a slight decrease from the 56 percent 'no' vote during the first referendum in November 2018. A third independence referendum is scheduled to be held in 2022.
Those in Noumea are advised to anticipate localized disruptions linked to Saturday's demonstration and should heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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