17 Dec 2014

Blame game over New Caledonia government collapse

11:54 am on 17 December 2014

Two rival New Caledonian anti-independence parties have blamed each other for the collapse of the territorial government - six months into its five-year term.

no caption

Photo: RNZ

The Caledonia Together Party ministers resigned after the Front For Unity refused to support fiscal reforms, triggering a fresh election of the executive by the end of the year.

It accuses the Front, which is linked to France's opposition UMP Party, of a scorched earth policy and of stalling debate about the aftermath of the Noumea Accord while hoping that Nicolas Sarkozy will regain the French presidency in 2017.

But the Front has hit back, saying the proposed reforms will only produce unemployed people and create a first class burial of the value added tax.

The government collapse has also ended the tri-partite powersharing deal among the three anti-independence parties, raising the possibility that the rift will bring the pro-independence side to power.

A pro-independence leader, Roch Wamytan, said before the resignation that there was too much hate within the anti-independence camp and apart from wanting to stay with France, they cannot agree on anything.