23 Feb 2011

Gomes adamant to force fresh New Caledonia elections

4:10 pm on 23 February 2011

New Caledonia's caretaker president, Philippe Gomes, is adamant he will do what he can to force fresh general elections following last week's collapse of the collegial government.

Mr Gomes has hit out at his rival within the anti-independence camp, Pierre Frogier, describing his push for the use of both the French and the Kanak flags as the territory's sign of the common identity as the worst idea of a political leader in the past ten years.

Speaking to the Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper, Mr Gomes says the idea of the two flags is dangerous and a source of division.

He says the apparent deal between Mr Frogier and the pro-independence Caledonian Union to oust him last week was done behind the voters' back and they need to be given a chance to be the arbiter in the affair.

Mr Gomes says Mr Frogier keeps contradicting himself by calling on him to resign while preaching since June unity among the pro-French parties.

Mr Frogier has said Paris won't call early general elections in the territory while Mr Gomes says he is convinced France will soon decide to dissolve the Congress which is tasked with electing a new collegial government on March the 3rd.