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The newly formed anti-independence coalition in New Caledonia has called for the next referendum on independence from France to be held as soon as possible.
The call was made at a weekend rally in Noumea of the group Future with Confidence as it prepares for provincial elections in May.
The group includes the Rassemblement, the Caledonian Republicans and the MPC who all have their roots in the same pro-French camp.
Its main immediate objective is to secure a continued majority of the anti-independence camp in the elections after the unexpectedly close result in last November's referendum.
Sonia Backes of the Caledonian Republicans said in the next referendum she expects the margin of voters wanting to remain French to be bigger than last year when 56 percent voted for the status quo.
The group has also criticised the rival anti-independence party Caledonia Together as being nationalist, which it says contributes to the territory to drift away from France.
The pro-independence side is considering forming unitary lists in the hope of winning a majority in Congress.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS
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