11 Jun 2004

Dismay in New Caledonia at government collapse

1:02 pm on 11 June 2004

There has been dismay in New Caledonia at yesterday's sudden fall of the multi-party government which had been elected only hours earlier.

The three ministers of the Rassemblement-UMP pulled out after one of its members failed to support the party.

The president chosen yesterday, Marie Noelle Themereau, says the Rassemblement should sort out its problems internally instead of provoking an institutional crisis.

The National Front says it was surprised at what it calls the Rassemblement's manipulation.

The main party, The Future Together, will sue the Rassemblement for defamation after its claim of attempting bribery.

The next attempt to elect a president will be made in about two weeks.