The French overseas minister has appealed to New Caledonia's politicians to rise to the challenges ahead as the territory is mired in a government deadlock.
A rivalry within the dominant anti-independence coalition has left New Caledonia without a president for a month.
The minister, George Pau-Langevin, says she hopes the political parties can resume a dialogue to restore a government capable of dealing with the pressing issues about the territory's future.
New Caledonia's government, which fell in mid-December was re-elected on New Year's Eve, is in caretaker mode only because no presidential candidate has been able to secure a majority.
Cynthia Ligeard has continued to preside the government and ruled out ceding the position to Philippe Germain, who is the candidate of the challenger party, the Caledonia Together.
As the territory needs to prepare the exit from the Noumea Accord, the minister says France may be compelled to act to end the impasse.