11 Mar 2011

New Caledonia Congress to determine government size

6:43 am on 11 March 2011

New Caledonia's Congress is due to meet today to determine the size of the next collegial government following last week's second government collapse in less than a month.

The meeting will decide the size of the executive, which is to have at least five, but no more than 11 ministers.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The government elected last week fell within minutes because one minister of the Caledonia Together Party quit as part of its campaign to push France into calling fresh general elections. Next week's scheduled election in the Congress is expected to produce an equally short-lived administration as the Caledonia Together camp is determined to bring about a gridlock that it says needs to be broken with people going to the polls. Paris has so far said no while legal experts now debate solutions to stop the territory's democracy from turning into a farce.One option being proposed is to suspend candidates if they are deemed to be insincere in wanting to work in a collegial governent. Another is to change the law and give any new government an 18-month grace period."