7 Jan 2015

New Caledonia government meets amid impasse

12:19 pm on 7 January 2015

New Caledonia's government has met for what observers say was its shortest sitting ever as it lasted just ten minutes.

Cynthia Ligeard

Cynthia Ligeard Photo: AFP

It could only sit in a caretaker capacity after last week's failure to choose a president and it approved the 2013 accounts of three public entities.

The meeting was chaired by the former president, Cynthia Ligeard, whose government fell last month only half a year into its five-year term.

On New Year's Eve the Congress re-elected the same 11-member government that had collapsed but then the reconstituted government failed to agree on who should be president.

Neither Cynthia Ligeard of the Front For Unity nor Philippe Germain of the Caledonia Together Party could secure at least six of the 11 votes.

A planned fresh presidential election on Tuesday was called off because the impasse among the rival anti-independence parties remained unresolved.

The Caledonia Together Party says it now wants the presidency because the Front For Unity had violated their powersharing deal reached after the last general election.

No further election date has been set.