22 Feb 2011

Frogier says early New Caledonia election unlikely

2:48 pm on 22 February 2011

The leader of New Caledonia's anti-independence Rassemblement-UMP says attempts by the former President Philippe Gomes to provoke fresh general elections won't succeed.

Pierre Frogier made the comment in an interview with Noumea's Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper after the two-year-old administration of Mr Gomes fell amid a dispute over the territory's flag.

Mr Frogier says given that the budget has been passed, any future resignation by Mr Gomes and his supporters won't undermine the running of the territory's affairs.

Last week, Mr Gomes said he would pull out of the government which the Congress is due to elect next week as soon as it is formed, thereby triggering a fresh election by the Congress.

Mr Frogier says this only amounts to agitation.