8 Apr 2010

New Caledonia's Lafleur ends political career

6:51 pm on 8 April 2010

New Caledonia's veteran politician, Jacques Lafleur, has quit politics.

Mr Lafleur, who was the territory's dominant political figure for the past 30 years, has resigned as member of the Congress and member of the assembly of the southern province.

This comes a week after he told local radio that he would end his political career, saying he was on his own and alone he couldn't achieve anything.

Mr Lafleur, who is 77, was the anti-independence camp's leader until the 2004 election when his Rassemblement party lost power and gradually split into various factions.

During the troubles of the 1980s, he negotiated a deal with the pro-independence FLNKS which led to the 1988 Matignon Accords on greater autonomy.

In 1998, he was a signatory of Noumea Accord, which sets out the phased and irreversible transfer of power from France to New Caledonia.