18 Jun 2012

New Caledonia's Gomes seeks party's inclusion in executive

12:53 pm on 18 June 2012

The leader of the Caledonia Together Party, Philippe Gomes, says he doubts his party can be kept outside the executive now that it has emerged as the territory's biggest party.

Mr Gomes and his fellow candidate, Sonia Lagarde, won the territory's two seats in the French National Assembly.

Mr Gomes narrowly defeated the pro-independence FLNKS candidate, Jean-Pierre Djaiwe, while Ms Lagarde beat the incumbent, Gael Yanno of the Rassemblement-UMP.

The Caledonia Together victory comes a year after the party was squeezed out of power when the Rassemblement-UMP and the FLNKS joined forces to oppose Mr Gomes's policy to insist on the letter of the Noumea Accord which calls for the creation of a new flag.