14 Mar 2011

New Caledonian Congress sets number of ministers

5:37 am on 14 March 2011

The New Caledonian Congress has fixed the number of ministers for the next government at 11 ahead of a Congress meeting on Thursday to elect a new collegial government.

The election has been called after two administrations failed in the past month amid a protracted dispute over what flag should be chosen to express the territory's identity.

The caretaker president, Harold Martin, has drawn up a list of duties for his 11 caretaker ministers but the Caledonia Together Party, which triggered the last government collapse, says it was never consulted.

The party is adamant that it wants fresh general elections, claiming that the people should decide whether it approves the joint use of the French and the Kanak flags.

The Caledonia Together Party wants a new and single flag, and a to express the territory's identity as it is being decolonised in line with the Noumea Accord.

Last week, about a 1,000 people attended a meeting to call for a new flag.