8 Aug 2013

Wamytan elected New Caledonia Congress president

1:17 pm on 8 August 2013

New Caledonia's Congress has elected a leading pro-independence politician, Roch Wamytan, as its president.

He was one of three candidates for the position, which he had held for one year until last August.

His election with 23 votes came in the third round of voting when he for a third time secured most votes but was short of a majority in the 54-member Congress.

The incumbent, Gerard Poadja, backed by the anti-independence Caledonia Together party, won 13 votes.

Simon Loueckhote, who had the support of the rival anti-independence parties, won 17 votes.

There has been acrimony within the anti-independence camp, with both sides blaming each other for Mr Wamytan's success.