22 Nov 2002

New Caledonia's majority party defends executive cut

5:02 pm on 22 November 2002

The anti-independence RPCR Party in New Caledonia has defended the Congress session which cut the size of the executive.

The Congress cut the number of ministers from eleven to ten ministers ahead of next Thursday's vote to elect a new administration.

This comes after last week's decision by the Caledonian Union's only minister to resign - a move which under the Noumea accord prompted the dissolution of the government 18 months before its term expired.

Pro-independence members spoke out for retaining 11 ministers while the National Front wanted to have the number cut.

An RPCR member, Gaby Bruillot, told New Caledonian radio that he rejects claims that it was not right for his party to decide the size of government.

"We are today assembled in a full session and its is therefore the assembly decides. While not everbybody agrees how things are to work there has to be a majority - therwsie things won't work."