New Caledonia Holds Third Independence Referendum

The French Pacific island of New Caledonia will have a third vote on December 12 after it was rejected independence in two previous referendums, France’s overseas territories minister said.

French Minister Sebastien Lecornu on Wednesday said that it would take place on December 12.

“The government of the Republic will organize and call voters concerned by this consultation on Dec. 12, 2021,” he told reporters after a meeting of the French cabinet.

“We believe that it serves the common good to hold this consultative referendum as soon as possible,” he added.

The referendum, which Lecornu said was part of a long and complex decolonization process.

It would thus take place before the Spring 2022 presidential election, in which President Emmanuel Macron is expected to seek a second mandate.

Under the 1998 Noumea Accord, only three referendums by 2022 were permitted under the terms of 1998

The accord is an agreement enshrined in France’s constitution and which set out a 20-year path towards decolonization.

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