15 Jun 2017

Caledonian Union reverses election stance

4:52 am on 15 June 2017

The president of New Caledonia's largest pro-independence party has reversed his position and is now backing a candidate in the French National Assembly election.

Daniel Goa, a separatist politician, (L)

Daniel Goa, a separatist politician, (L) Photo: AFP

The Caledonian Union vowed to stay away from this year's French elections to concentrate on next year's referendum on independence from France.

However, the party's president Daniel Goa now said he would endorse Louis Mapou in this weekend's run-off for a seat in Paris.

Mr Mapou ran for another pro-independence party and won most votes in last week's first round, beating the incumbent and leader of the Caledonia Together Party Philippe Gomes.

Mr Goa said Mr Mapou's success in the first rounds opens the possibility of the pro-independence camp having a seat in Paris for the first time in more than three decades.

In the other seat to be decided, a party colleague of Mr Gomes, Philippe Dunoyer, would run against Sonia Backes of the rival anti-independence Republicans.