15 Jun 2009

Ngaiohni elected new New Caledonia vice president

3:06 pm on 15 June 2009

The collegial government of New Caledonia has elected a pro-independence politician Pierre Ngaiohni as the administration's new vice-president, clearing the way for distribution of the 11 government portfolios.

The election of Mr Ngaiohni succeeded in its third attempt after the pro-independence camp agreed on one candidate.

This also comes five weeks after a general election to renew the provincial assemblies and choose a new congress for a five-year term.

Mr Ngaiohni replaces Dewe Gorodey who was vice president under three different presidents since the 1998 Noumea Accord has come into force.

The distribution of power provides for the vice presidency to be held by a pro-independence politician if an anti-independence politician gets to lead the territorial government.

Ministerial positions are allotted in proportion to the parties' strength in Congress.