New Caledonia elders hail referendum campaign

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New Caledonia’s government-appointed group of elders has praised the conduct during the independence referendum campaign which is about to wrap up.

On Sunday, voters will be asked to choose between full sovereignty or the status quo in the first such plebiscite for more than 30 years.

In a statement, the group said mutual respect has prevailed in the lead-up to the historic vote.

However, it noted that there have been verbal excesses towards the end of the campaign – a reference to comments on both sides of the spectrum.

A senior anti-independence leader Pierre Frogier earned the scorn of friend and foe this week for suggesting to renege on the Noumea Accord provision allowing for further referendums in case of a no-vote.

The group of elders said it hopes for the calm to continue during polling and once the result has been declared.

It said the spirit of the past 30 years has to maintained in order to build the future.


SOURCE: RADIO NZ

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