3 Mar 2011

New Caledonia government election due today

2:36 pm on 3 March 2011

New Caledonia's Congress is to meet this afternoon to elect a new collegial government after the administration led by Philippe Gomes collapsed two weeks ago.

The pro-independence Caledonian Union had pulled out of his government amid a dispute over what flag the territory should choose as part of its decolonisation process.

Mr Gomes is adamant that he will bring down the collegial government the moment it is formed today as he wants to prompt Paris to call fresh provincial elections.

He says the flag issue was a ploy to remove him from the top post and the informal alliance to oust him was never approved by the voters who should have the final say.