25 Mar 2014

Poll challenge eases New Caledonia's UMP rift

2:50 pm on 25 March 2014

A rift within New Caledonia's centre-right UMP camp appears to be put aside as the rival sides are poised to join forces for the second round of the municipal elections.

In the race for the Noumea mayoralty, Jean-Claude Briault, who was the candidate favoured by the outgoing mayor, came a distant third.

According to the local newspaper, he is set to reconcile with his UMP-camp rival, Gael Yanno, and make it on his list for Sunday's run-off.

Mr Yanno was narrowly beaten by Sonia Lagarde of the anti-independence Caledonia Together Party in last Sunday's first round.

Should the new UMP alliance repeat the results from the first round, Mrs Lagarde would need the support from the pro-independence side to have a chance at winning the Noumea mayoralty.