30 Nov 2017

Moves in Noumea to end lengthy political impasse

5:12 pm on 30 November 2017

Media reports from New Caledonia say moves are afoot to form a government which would end a three-month political impasse.

The New Caledonia congress.

The New Caledonia congress. Photo: AFP

The territory has been without a properly constituted government since August because the only presidential candidate repeatedly failed to get a majority of the 11 government ministers to vote for him.

A number of politicians consider the stalemate to be a bad look as the French prime minister Edouard Philippe is due on Saturday for an official visit to discuss preparations for next year's independence referendum.

Media reports say both pro- and anti-independence politicians have been in meetings and that they are poised to re-elect Philippe Germain as president on short notice.

The president of New Caledonia's collegial government, Philippe Germain.

Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

In previous election attempts, Mr Germain had the support of only five of the six anti-independence ministers.

The latest talks suggest that pro-independence ministers may now vote for him to give New Caledonia a government.

For an election to be held it has to be called by the French High Commissioner.

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