30 May 2011

New Caledonia's electoral law to be passed under urgency

5:36 am on 30 May 2011

The French legislature is expected to pass under urgency a change to New Caledonia's electoral law.

This comes after last week's cabinet decision to introduce an 18-month grace period for any new government in New Caledonia.

Under the current law, a single ministers resignation automatically triggers a fresh election within the Congress which has to be performed within two weeks.

Three governments collapsed within minutes of their formation this year amid a dispute over which flag the territory should choose.

To end the serial resignations, the Congress has refused to elect any further government while awaiting a law change in Paris.

The reform is expected to be passed within about six weeks but the French prime minister has said a new government in Noumea is due to be chosen in the first days of June.