12 May 2009

Outgoing New Caledonia president urges stability pact among pro-France parties.

1:24 pm on 12 May 2009

New Caledonia's outgoing president, Harold Martin, has called for a stability pact of all the anti-independence parties following Sunday's election results.

His Future Together party suffered big losses in the polls and is now one of four parties in the pro-French camp which has retained a majority in the new congress.

But he says the anti-independence side is so fractured that he fears there could be a political trench war with an institutional disorder akin to the situation in Tahiti.

Mr Martin says all elements are there for a situation to develop as it has in French Polynesia where the instability has seen four governments to be formed since last year's early general election.

He warns that if the so-called loyalists don't stand united the Congress could end up under the control of the pro-independence parties.

In French Polynesia, the current government is led by the pro-independence Union For Democracy and is supported by the To Tatou Aia coalition which was elected on a platform of standing up against independence from France.