3 Jan 2015

New Caledonia presidential election on Tuesday

10:35 am on 3 January 2015

New Caledonia's collegial government will again attempt on Tuesday to elect a new president to replace Cynthia Ligeard whose administration collapsed two weeks ago.

New Caledonia's Congress re-elected the same government on Wednesday, but once the 11-member executive met to elect a president, no candidate won a majority.

The rift within the dominant anti-independence majority, which prompted the government's fall, meant that neither Mrs Ligeard of the Front for Unity nor Philippe Germain of the Caledonia Together Party could get six backers.

The five pro-independence ministers abstained leading to the presidential election on Tuesday.

It is uncertain if the next round will yield a winner as it is unclear how long the territory can operate without a president because without one, the government remains in a caretaker capacity only.

The Caledonia Together party, the biggest force in the ruling coalition, brought down the government after accusing the coalition partners of going against the power-sharing deal set up after the May election.

It said as a result, it wanted to get the presidency, which had been held by the Front for Unity.

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Photo: RNZ

The Ligeard-led government fell just six months into its five-year term.