24 May 2003

New Caledonia's FLNKS holds Congress on Saturday

8:34 am on 24 May 2003

New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement is to hold its 24th Congress today but it won't use the occasion to fill the vacant position of president.

The frequently delayed Congress is now to be held in Moindou on the main island's west coast and comes almost eighteen months after the last congress failed to choose a president.

A movement spokesman says although its political bureau had been tasked to nominate a candidate for the vacancy, it failed to do so.

The two names mentioned in previous searches for a president were the head of the Caledonian Union, Roch Wamytan, and Paul Neaoutyne of the Palika Party.

The Congress is to discuss preparations ahead of next year's territorial elections, the impending visits of the French minister in charge of overseas territories, Brigitte Girardin, and President Jacques Chirac.