A co-operation deal between the two main anti-independence blocs in New Caledonia has collapsed.
Last month, the Caledonia Together party and the recently formed coalition Future with Confidence issued a statement to confirm that they would run with a single list in next month's election of a new assembly in the Loyalty Islands province.
They argued that such a list was the only way to secure one of the provincial assembly's 14 seats which have all been held by mainly Kanak pro-independence parties.
However, the two sides have now fallen out over the ranking of their respective candidates, with both blaming the other party for the impasse.
The May 12th election is expected to be a closely fought contest in which the pro-independence side is hoping to secure a majority in the 54-member Congress for the first time.
The Congress is made up of members of the three provincial assemblies.
The southern province is dominated by anti-independence parties while the northern province is another stronghold of the pro-independence camp.
The narrower than expected vote for the status quo in last November's referendum on independence from France has fuelled fears among some anti-independence politicians that they could for the first time lose their majority in Congress.
However, only a third of the members of the incoming Congress is needed to call for another independence referendum.
All electoral lists, which have to alternate male and female candidates to ensure gender parity, have to be submitted by Tuesday although the French High Commission has called on all parties to do so by tomorrow.