24 Jun 2004

Stalemate over New Caledonia presidency

4:17 pm on 24 June 2004

The election for President in New Caledonia has reached stalemate after the three pro independence MPs abstained from voting.

Two candidates were nominated, one from the Future Together party and One from the Rassemblement party, neither of which received the required six votes.

The election attempt came two weeks after the three ministers from the Rassemblement party resigned to bring down the new administration just hours after Marie-Noelle Themereau was voted president.

Tuo Chinula reports.

"The newly-elected government of New Caledonia has been unable to choose a president. The eleven members of government who were elected by Congress this morning, were unable to agree on who should be their leader. The collegial government is made up of eight members from anti-independence parties - four each from the Future Together Party and the Rassemblement, and three pro-independence members. the two from the Uni-FLNKS Party and one from the Caledonian Union Party. The government is again to meet tomorrow. It has until next Tuesday to try to reach an agreement. If it fails, the government, the Congress and the territorial assemblies may have to be dissolved and new elections held."