24 Sep 2011

New Caledonia to elect two French senators

7:42 am on 24 September 2011

New Caledonia will tomorrow elect two new members of the French Senate to replace its sole member, Simon Loueckhote.

The French high commission has called the electoral college to convene at its offices tomorrow morning for the vote.

The college is made up of 524 members, including assembly member and mayors who will appoint the two senators for a six-year term.

Should the morning vote be inconclusive, a fresh election will be called in the afternoon, with results to be declared within the hour.

This year New Caledonia chooses for the first time two senators as the 341-strong body is being enlarged.

Mr Loueckhote, who had been the territory's only senator since 1992, pulled out of the contest earlier this month.

This follows a decision by France's ruling UMP in June to switch its support to the candidacy of Pierre Frogier and Hilarion Vendegou.