18 Jan 2017

Republicans choose Deladriere in New Caledonia

6:13 pm on 18 January 2017

New Caledonia's Bernard Deladriere has now been endorsed by the centre-right Republicans as one of the territory's two candidates for this year's election of a new French National Assembly.

The 1998 agreement promises to increase autonomy for the archipelago and set a referendum to take place between 2014 and 2018 on whether to remain part of the French Republic or become an independent state.

Bernard Deladriere (far right) with other signatory members of the 1998 Matignon-Noumea accord, attend a meeting with the French Prime minister in Paris on October 3, 2014. Photo: LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP

This comes after the party's weekend meeting in France left open who it would endorse in the territory.

Mr Deladriere, who has had a variety of functions in government, was behind the campaign committee for Francois Fillon who emerged as the party's presidential candidate.

In New Caledonia, the first round of the primaries saw most support given to Nicolas Sarkozy.

The other official candidate of the Republicans is likely to be Philippe Gomes, a former president who is one of the incumbents.

The Republicans' affiliates in New Caledonia have split into different parties and factions, and it is not known how many people will stand.

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