17 Sep 2004

New Caledonian resignation letter examined by tribunal

1:42 pm on 17 September 2004

A tribunal in New Caledonia has begun hearing the case of an independent member of the Congress who had brought down the government in June.

The newspaper, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, reports the tribunal has cast doubt on the sincerity of a resignation letter from Suzie Vigouroux.

Ms Vigouroux was elected as a candidate standing for the Rassemblement party but shortly after a new government was formed, Ms Vigouroux claimed she wrote a letter of resignation from the Rassemblement party.

The resignation meant the Rassemblement party lost one seat.

Now an administrative tribunal is examining the sincerity of her letter.

The Rassemblement party wants the tribunal to establish that Mrs Vigouroux's letter was genuine, so it can replace her as a candidate and gain a seat in congress.

But a magistrate at the tribunal says the resignation letter was written when Mrs Vigouroux had found herself in a situation of weakness.

The tribunal is expected to give a verdict in three weeks' time.