19 Aug 2011

New Caledonia Congress elects new president

1:37 pm on 19 August 2011

New Caledonia's Congress has elected the pro-independence politician Roch Wamytan as the new Congress president after the French supreme court ruled last month that his election earlier this year was invalid.

53 votes were cast, with Mr Wamytan getting the support of 32 members.

The other candidate, Leonard Sam, won 15 votes.

At the start of the session, a minute's silence was observed in respect for the four people shot dead during clashes on Mare two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, radio reports say 15 people have today been taken into custody - the first arrests since the violence erupted.

More than 140 police have been on Mare to calm the situation after the shooting and fighting which also left more than 20 people with gun shot wounds.