Count down under way for New Caledonia’s independence vote

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Anti-independence bystanders eye a Kanak independence "yes" vote rally in Noumea. Image: Thierry Peron/Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes

By RNZ News

The campaign for New Caledonia’s referendum on independence from France is already officially three days old with the critical vote in less than two weeks.

Six political formations are registered to campaign for the plebiscite on October 4 when 180,640 voters will be asked whether they want the territory to accede to full sovereignty.

Three groups support independence and three back the status quo.

Media campaigns are subject to control by led by the Superior Council of the Audiovisual to ensure plurality and compliance with standards.

In 2018, in the first of three possible referendums under the Noumea Accord, 57 percent voted against independence – much lower than predicted.

If voters again reject independence, a third vote can be called by 2022.

No opinion poll result has been released in the past six months.

New Caledonia was put on the UN decolonisation list in 1986.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

New Caledonia independence vote
New Caledonian independence vote posters. Image: Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes
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