24 Aug 2017

New Caledonia Congress prepares govt election

6:13 am on 24 August 2017

New Caledonia's Congress is today due to decide the size of the next government which is to be elected in a week.

New Caledonia's Budget Minister Philippe Dunoyer

Philippe Dunoyer Photo: AFP

The 11-member collegial government fell last Saturday.

A new government needs to be chosen after the Caledonia Together Party pulled out to allow the budget minister Philippe Dunoyer to take up his newly secured seat in the French National Assembly.

The government may not exceed 11 members and most collegial administrations set up under the Noumea Accord have had 11.

The four party groups making up the Congress have until tomorrow night to each name a full list of proposed ministers plus three substitutes.

The government is to reflect the groups' relative strength in Congress in which the anti-independence camp has a slight majority.

Rifts among loyalists could delay the vote for a new president who is also due to be elected once Congress has chosen the government.