New Caledonia's former president Philippe Gomes has urged voters to choose Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election.
Mr Gomes said unlike other parties his Caledonia Together Party has no formal ties with French parties in order to defend the common interest irrespective of who is in power in Paris.
He also told a local newspaper that the French Republicans should have dropped their candidate, Francois Fillon, when Mr Fillon was caught up in a nepotism scandal.
Mr Gomes said as a result, many votes in New Caledonia went to Marine Le Pen whose candidacy was now backed by several local leaders.
He said Ms Le Pen had always been against the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy and her economic policies would lead to bankruptcy.
With the independence referendum due next year, New Caledonia needs a French state in tune with the accord, said Mr Gomes.