15 Sep 2005

Wallis chiefs move to install new king

2:34 pm on 15 September 2005

A group of chiefs in Wallis and Futuna says it wants to install a new king at the end of next week.

This comes amid a protracted stand-off with the 87-year-old king, Tomasi Kulimoetoke, who has challenged the French presence in the territory.

Local television reports that a ceremonial meeting was held to usher in the elevation of a high chief, Sosefo Mautamakia, to become the traditional king.

The territory has seen a rivalry between clans triggered by the king's initial refusal to hand over a grandson to the police for causing a fatal accident.