22 Jun 2012

Martin ready to cede New Caledonia presidency to Gomes

1:12 pm on 22 June 2012

New Caledonia's president, Harold Martin, says he is ready to cede his position to his predecessor Philippe Gomes.

Mr Martin made the comment in an interview with Noumea's daily newspaper following last week's election success of Mr Gomes' Caledonia Together Party which won the territory's two seats in the French National Assembly.

He says Mr Gomes and his party need to be given positions in the territorial administration to reflect the will of the voters.

Mr Martin says the majority spoke out against the policy of jointly using the Kanak and French flags on public buildings and it is opposed to have a pro-independence politician at the helm of the Congress - an allusion to Roch Wamytan.

The Caledonia Together Party was removed from the executive last year over its insistence that the territory adopt a new flag to express its identity.

Its fall prompted it to trigger several government collapses until Paris changed the electoral law.