6 Feb 2014

New Caledonia provincial election deferred by one week

4:28 pm on 6 February 2014

New Caledonia's provincial elections are now tipped to be held on May the 11th - a week later than previously suggested.

The French high commissioner, Jean-Jacques Brot, is quoted by the website Caledosphere as saying that May the 4th was widely expected to be election date but it had never made official.

The one week deferral is attributed to the number of polls, with municipal elections due next month and European Union elections another two months later.

The provincial elections will choose three provincial assemblies, out of which a new 54-member Congress will be formed that will be tasked to implement the last five-year term of the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

There is an apparent consensus emerging to try to avert an outright independence referendum and instead create a new arrangement to formalise ties with France.