Ralph Regenvanu, president of Land and Justice party, and Vanuatu’s opposition leader called for engagement “to convince the anti-independence lobby that New Caledonia can be a viable state in the Pacific like the other states in the Pacific”, RNZ wrote on October 15.
“I know that the anti-independence lobby in New Caledonia often likes to point over to Vanuatu and say ‘look, you could become like that if you become independent,” Regenvanui said, quoted by the Kiwi media.
“For us, it is quite amusing because we think we have got a very good development model happening here,” he added.
On October 5, New Caledonia rejected independence with 53,3% of voters willing to remain in France. But a third referendum is likely to be held by 2022.
The pro-independence leaders have already confirmed that they will request a third and last referendum on independence from France.
French Overseas minister Sébastien Lecornu is in Nouméa, New Caledonia, since October 10. After a fourteen-day quarantine, he will meet with key leaders of the New Caledonian political forces.
As Ralph Regenvanu recalls, New Caledonia is Vanuatu’s closest neighbour and home to the largest group of ni-Vanuatu abroad.
According to the 2014 census, 2,568 persons from Vanuatu were living on the “Pebble”.
Photo > Credit: Ralph Regenvanu Facebook account.