31 Aug 2017

New Caledonia left without president

3:18 pm on 31 August 2017

New Caledonia has been left without a president after a majority of government members today refused to vote for the re-election of Philippe Germain.

The President of New Caledonia's collegial government, Philippe Germain.

Philippe Germain Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

Earlier in the day the Congress elected a new 11-member government of ministers from the four groups making up the Congress.

The election was called because the Caledonia Together Party ministers had resigned nearly two weeks ago to allow one of them to take up his newly won seat in the French National Assembly.

The anti-independence side's two groups have six seats in the government and a minimal majority, but fresh rifts have led to them not agreeing on voting for Mr Germain.

A new minister representing the Caledonian Republicans Christopher Gyges decided to abstain, citing disagreement over economic policies.

The pro-independence side's five members also abstained, saying it's for the loyalists to sort out their affairs.

It was not clear when a fresh bid will be made to elect a new president.

Two years ago, New Caledonia was without a president for months also because of disagreements within the loyalist majority.

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