2 Mar 2011

New Caledonia's Congress to meet tomorrow to elect new govt

7:00 am on 2 March 2011

The president of New Caledonia's northern province says if the political crisis is not resolved there will have to be an early election.

The territory's congress is to meet tomorrow to elect a new collegial government but the former President, Philippe Gomes, has vowed he will bring it down the moment it is formed.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The president of the northern province, Paul Neaoutyine, has told Noumea's daily newspaper that the informal alliance that brought down Mr Gomes is not natural. The pro-independence Caledonian Union and the Rassemblement-UMP insist that both the French and the Kanak flags be flown as New Caledonia's sign of identity but Mr Gomes has refused to accept that, saying it's not part of the Noumea Accord. Mr Neaoutyine says his party doesn't want to take part in any actions to destabilise the situation and wonders whether there has been a plan to install a new government before the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, arrives in August. He says he has noted that the Rassemblement-UMP has been losing support since the Noumea Accord was signed and is seeking a deal with the Caledonian Union in a bid to win more influence."