18 Apr 2016

Wallis splits as two rival kings installed

10:09 am on 18 April 2016

A rift has deepened between rival royal families in Wallis and Futuna after a second king was installed by a new Council of Chiefs.

The two-year vacancy on the throne of the kingdom of Uvea was filled when Tominiko Halagahu was installed in a ceremony in his district at the weekend.

Public radio said this came after a dispute earlier in the week when opponents occupied the royal palace.

On Sunday, the rival new Council of Chiefs proceeded to install Patalione Kanimoa as its king in a ceremony at the palace.

The second king is a former president of the territorial assembly.

France officially recognises only one king on Wallis.

The official flag of the French overseas territory of Wallis and Futuna.

The official flag of the French overseas territory of Wallis and Futuna. Photo: supplied

The prefect administering the territory said last week that he would into interfere in the rivalry.

An entry into the official journal is yet to made and that will determine which king France considers to be the legitimate monarch.

11 years ago, moves to unseat the long-serving king, Tomasi Kulimoetoke, failed when his backers set up armed blockades to thwart the coronation of a new and rival monarch.

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