2 May 2007

New Caledonia's FLNKS names candidates for June French assembly election

1:24 pm on 2 May 2007

New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement has chosen two candidates for the June election of the territory's two members of the French assembly in Paris.

It chose the territory's education minister Charles Washetine of the Palika Party and Charles Pidjot of the Caledonian Union.

Their selection was made at a meeting in Kone which was the first time since 2003 that the FLNKS factions managed to gather.

In the 1980's, Mr Pidjot's uncle was the last pro-independence politician from New Caledonia to hold an assembly seat in Paris.

After partial boycotts of recent national elections, the FLNKS presented only two candidates to exploit the unprecedented discord among the anti-independence parties which field several candidates in each constituencies.

Meanwhile, the Kanak USTKE union has announced that it will contest the French assembly election.

The union is being supported by the failed anti-globalisation presidential candidate, Jose Bove, who ten days ago scored his best result in New Caledonia by winning just under six percent of the votes.

In the presidential election, the centre-right's Nicolas Sarkozy also achieved his best result in New Caledonia, winning nearly an absolute majority.