27 Jul 2005

New Caledonia's congress speaker Martin re-elected

7:48 pm on 27 July 2005

New Caledonia's territorial Congress has re-elected Harold Martin for a second one-year term as its Speaker.

Mr Martin, of the Future Together Party, won 22 of the 54 votes, with 20 ballots being cast blank.

His party has 16 seats, one more than the Rassemblement-UMP which has been traditionally dominant force in the territory's politics.

The government is made up in proportion to the party representation in the congress.

Mr Martin says politicians have to admit that since last year, no party can pretend to rule alone with an absolute majority.

He says the congress can still function, because members are now making decisions on a case-by-case basis, with the majority emerging being a majority of ideas.