The former president of New Caledonia's Rassemblement-UMP, Jacques Lafleur, is trying to regain the leadership only weeks after resigning.
This has been disclosed in Noumea as the party is preparing a Congress next month to choose a new leader.
Mr Lafleur will stand against a former territorial president, Pierre Frogier, who Mr Lafleur had presented as his successor at the beginning of this year.
His bid comes only weeks after he wrote to key supporters that he was retiring from all functions of the party.
Mr Lafleur, who is 73, is the territory's member of the French National Assembly.