24 Jul 2007

New Caledonia's president resigns, triggering fall of government

3:28 pm on 24 July 2007

The president of New Caledonia, Marie-Noëlle Thémereau, has officially resigned from the post triggering the fall of the territory's government.

Ms Themereau, who came to power in 2004, had hinted she would relinquish the position after the French presidential and general elections this year.

The 11 member cabinet becomes a caretaker government until a new executive comes into office.

The Congress now has fourteen days to convene and elect a new government which it does in two steps by first voting on the number of government ministers, and later nominating portfolios holders.

The makeup of the executive also has to reflect proportionally the 54-member Congress.

Once elected, the new cabinet meets again, behind closed doors, to elect a President and a Vice-President.

Among leaders tipped to become New Caledonia's next President are Rassemblement-UMP leader Pierre Frogier, and Avenir Ensemble's Harold Martin and Didier LeRoux.