24 Mar 2015

New Caledonia political impasse unresolved

12:29 pm on 24 March 2015

New Caledonia's main pro-independence party has deferred its decision on who it will back as the territory's next president.

The Caledonian Union had promised it would make up its mind but now says it will hold a media conference tomorrow when an announcement is expected that could end the political stalemate.

The territory has been without a president, and therefore a properly constituted government, since mid-December when the Caledonia Together Party triggered the fall of the government and ended a power-sharing deal within the anti-independence majority.

Philippe Germain and Cynthia Ligeard

Philippe Germain and Cynthia Ligeard Photo: THEO ROUBY / AFP

The anti-independence camp has six seats and the pro-independence camp five in the now reconsitituted administration.

However, neither Philippe Germain of the Caledonia Together Party nor Cynthia Ligeard of the Front for Unity has been able to get six votes to be elected president.

The pro-independence side says it wants to end the political uncertainty but has been unable to make up its mind on who to back.

It has said it will support whoever has the policies and personality most suited to it amid reports that the Caledonian Union has been slow in reaching a decision because of concern about its own unity.

Paris has repeatedly implored the loyalist camp to seek a dialogue to end the impasse.

The Caledonia Together Party has said if the crisis persists, fresh elections should be called.