15 Jun 2017

Le Pen rights Front's New Caledonia section

1:07 pm on 15 June 2017

The leader of France's National Front Marine Le Pen has contradicted the head of the party's New Caledonia chapter over how to vote in this weekend's run-off election of a new French National Assembly.

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party, Marine Le Pen poses prior to an interview on the prime time evening news broadcast of French private television channel TF1, on May 2, 2017 in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris

Marine Le Pen Photo: AFP

The party had issued a directive to vote for candidates who refuse to ever accept independence from France, which was meant to be a call to support the anti-independence politician Philippe Gomes in his contest against a separatist rival.

But the Front's head in Noumea Bianca Henin announced that she would cast a blank ballot because Mr Gomes was in the process of selling out New Caledonia.

Furthermore, she said Mr Gomes called on his supporters in last month's presidential election to vote for Emmanuel Macron and not for Marine Le Pen.

Philippe Gomes

Philippe Gomes Photo: AFP

The territory is on track for an independence referendum next year.

Mrs Le Pen said the National Front position remained the same.

She said this meant it supported politicians who wanted to forge an alliance with all political forces in favour of keeping New Caledonia French in the face of the anti-French pro-independence extremists.

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