Several thousand people have rallied in Noumea to call for New Caledonia’s indigenous Kanaks to be automatically enrolled for the independence vote in 2018.
According to the march organisers, 5,000 people joined yesterday’s rally while police say 2,000 people were at the march.
The roll is restricted to long-term residents who are also enrolled on the general list.
The Kanaks have a customary status but an estimated 25,000 of them are not on the general roll and therefore are at risk of missing out on the poll which is part of the decolonisation process.
This comes amid claims of fraud by the French state in the vetting process.
The rally came less than two weeks before the signatories of the Noumea Accord meet in Paris to review the decolonisation roadmap.
The anti-independence Rassemblement said it is opposed to a referendum as a vote would be destructive.