15 Mar 2013

France's National Front head visits New Caledonia

2:40 pm on 15 March 2013

The leader of France's National Front, Marine Le Pen, has arrived in New Caledonia in a bid to help her party revive ahead of next year's territorial election.

Since the 2009 election, her party has had no seat in the territorial and provincial assemblies.

Ms Le Pen is due to meet a range of leaders during her six-day stay before she flies to French Polynesia next week.

The National Front says it is opposed to the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy, which provides for a gradual and irreversible transfer of power and a possible referendum on independence after 2014.

Its Noumea secretary says the party wants a strong loyalist front and is decrying the splits within the pro-French camp, which have deepened in recent years.