6 Apr 2011

Taggers target New Caledonia caretaker leader

2:56 pm on 6 April 2011

New Caledonia's caretaker President, Harold Martin, and one of his party colleagues, Pascal Vittori, are reported to be lodging a formal complaint after death threats were made against them over the weekend.

Public television in Noumea reports that the two politicians are reacting to death threats being spray-painted in large letters on their respective private properties.

The tagging comes just days after Mr Martin was re-elected as president for the third time within a month, only to see his government collapse the moment it was formed.

The serial resignation by the Caledonia Together Party has also prompted other parties to agree to suspend mandated Congress sessions in a bid to avoid further such resignations.

The political impasse follows a dispute over which flag should be used to express New Caledonia's identity.

The issue prompted rival sides to call for public rallies last Saturday but the French high commission banned them.