30 Jul 2018

Yanno elected as New Caledonia Congress President

2:56 pm on 30 July 2018

New Caledonia's Congress has elected a veteran anti-independence politician Gael Yanno as its new president, replacing Thierry Santa.

Former president of New Caledonia's Congress, Gael Yanno.

Former president of New Caledonia's Congress, Gael Yanno. Photo: AFP

Mr Yanno, who stood as an independent after quitting as leader of the small anti-independence MPC party, won in the third round of voting.

He secured 29 votes, defeating the pro-independence candidate Roch Wamytan, who got 23 votes.

In the first round, Mr Wamytan had 23 votes of the 52 members present, with Mr Yanno 16 and Mr Santa 6.

After the second round of voting yielded the same result, Mr Santa withdrew his re-election bid, clearing the way for Mr Yanno to become Congress president for a second time.

During today's vote the two members of the Labour Party were absent.

After their decision not to support the independence referendum, the pro-independence bloc in Congress has excluded them from the group.