30 Jun 2011

New Caledonia's Senator Loueckhote dismayed at UMP choice

1:23 pm on 30 June 2011

New Caledonia's member of the French Senate, Simon Loueckhote, says he no longer has any confidence in France's ruling UMP party after it refused to endorse his re-election bid in September.

The UMP-backed candidates will be Pierre Frogier and Hilarion Vendegou, who Mr Loueckhote says may have been picked amid considerations emanating from the French presidency.

Mr Loueckhote, who has been a senator for 19 years, has told Noumea's daily newspaper that he expected that Mr Frogier was to be chosen as he feared he would no longer be elected as a member of the French assembly.

He says by choosing Mr Vendegou, Mr Frogier will have someone at his side who will always do as he is told.

Mr Loueckhote says he will still be standing and claims to have the support of the Caledonia Together leader, Philippe Gomes.

The two senators will be chosen by an electoral body made up of the municipal delegates, the members of the three provincial assemblies and the two members of the French National Assembly.