8 Jul 2004

Woman responsible for bringing down New Caledonian government, breaks her silence

12:39 pm on 8 July 2004

The woman at the centre of last month's political crisis in New Caledonia, Suzie Vigouroux, has broken her long silence.

Mrs Vigouroux, a representative in the territorial congress, made a mistake when voting for the government which cost her party, the Rassemblement, a seat and led to the dissolution of the newly elected governemnt.

Our correspondent, Tuo Chinula, reports.

"Suzie Vigouroux says she made the mistake because she was nervous. She was thrown off balance by the crowds in the congress building. Afterwards, she says she was forced to sign a letter by members of the Rassemblement party. The letter stated she had cast the ballot in error because she had been subject to undue pressure from the Future Together party. The future Together party is the main opposition to the Rassemblement. However, she denies these claims and says the Future Together party never attempted to bribe her. She says she called yesterday's press conference to regain her dignity and honour. Although she has since resigned from the Rassemblement, she says she wants to remain in congress as an independent candidate."