21 Apr 2017

New Caledonia's Lagarde backs Macron

2:11 pm on 21 April 2017
Sonia Lagarde, mayor of Noumea

Sonia Lagarde, mayor of Noumea Photo: AFP

The mayor of Noumea has come out in support of Emmanuel Macron, two days before voters in New Caledonia go to the polls in the first round of the French presidential election.

Sonia Lagarde, who is also a member of the French National Assembly, issued a statement, saying Mr Macron is the only real alternative.

She said he is the only candidate who can rally the right, left and centre to advance France and to put in place the reforms that are needed.

Ahead of next year's planned independence referendum, Mrs Lagarde also said Mr Macron positioned himself clearly for New Caledonia to remain with France.

In the lead-up to last year's primaries of the centre-right Republicans, Mrs Lagarde supported Alain Juppe who lost out to Francois Fillon.

Mr Macron, a former merchant banker and Socialist government minister, is running as an independent and according to opinion polls, he is a leading contender to make next month's run-off round.