11 Jun 2002

New Caledonia's RPCR deplores Lafleur's failure to win first round majority

11:21 am on 11 June 2002

The secretary-general of New Caledonia's anti-independence RPCR party, Pierre Frogier, has expressed regret that Jacques Lafleur will have to contest the second round of the French parliamentary election.

The French news agency, AFP, reports that Mr Lafleur had been the highest polling MP in the last election five years ago but at the weekend he was 47 votes short of an absolute majority.

Mr Frogier, who is also seeking re-election as an MP in the French parliament, says it has hurt him that a second round has been as he put it imposed on Mr Lafleur.

In Wallis and Futuna, a second round will also be held, with the incumbent, Victor Brial, facing Penisio Tialetagi.

Polls held a week earlier in French Polynesia saw Michel Buillard and Beatrice Vernaudon become the first two members of the new French parliament to be chosen in the first round already.

All Pacific members of the French parliament belong to the centre-right.