23 Mar 2017

New Caledonia's Martin in Paris seat bid

12:22 pm on 23 March 2017

A former president of New Caledonia Harold Martin has lodged his candidacy to represent the territory's anti-independence camp in the French National Assembly.

Martin, who three weeks ago was given a six-month suspended prison sentence for corruption, is also a member of Congress and a mayor.

He wants to run against the incumbent, Philippe Gomes, who is also a former president and who has the official backing of the centre-right Republicans.

New Caledonia politician Harold Martin

New Caledonia politician Harold Martin Photo: RNZI

Martin has stayed in office because the conviction is being appealed in France.

A former National Assembly member Gael Yanno has meanwhile named Sacha Benisti as his back-up in his bid to regain his seat in Paris.

His platform is to push for better representation at a local level of people excluded from provincial elections because of the eligibility terms for non-native residents.

Mr Yanno is also calling for the independence referendum to proceed by next year and not to defer a decision by having another accord.