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Macron could consider referendum on New Caledonia electoral reform

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 26,2024
French President Emmanuel Macron (AP File Photo)

French President Emmanuel Macron said he could consider a referendum over an electoral reform in New Caledonia that has been opposed by people of the overseas French territory.

Protests have broken out in the island over plans that would allow thousands more French residents who have lived in New Caledonia for 10 years or more to vote.

After the Senate and National Assembly's approval, the bill still has to be endorsed by the French Congress, a gathering of both upper and lower houses.

Speaking to Le Parisien newspaper after his Thursday visit to New Caledonia, Macron said "a referendum could be held at any time."

He, however, argued that he preferred to reach a "general agreement" with New Caledonia's elected representatives to enrich the text already voted on by the French parliament.

Not forcing through voting reforms was a "gesture of appeasement," he said. "But I will never make a decision to postpone or suspend under the pressure of violence."