22 Nov 2002

New Caledonian congress cuts government size

12:11 pm on 22 November 2002

The New Caledonian Congress has decided to reduce the size of the executive by one member to ten.

The decision was reached yesterday afternoon, with the majority RPCR/FCCI group in favour of a smaller government that is to be elected next Thursday.

Last week, the eleven member collegial government was dissolved after the Caledonian Union's only minister resigned accusing the RPCR of a lack of consultation.

The RPCR has not said why it favoured reducing the executive to ten members.

The pro-independence FLNKS movement wanted to retain eleven members while the right-wing National Front wanted to have fewer ministers.

A pro-independence Congress member, Nicole Waia, told RFO radio that there should have been a discussion.

"Once again it is not up to a political party to unilaterally fix the number of members of the government of New Caledonia. The discussion should have been held among the signatories of the Noumea and for the different parties represented here to define what is best for the country."

Nicole Waia