8 Jun 2019

Four lists contest New Caledonia government election

9:11 am on 8 June 2019

Four lists of candidates have been submitted in New Caledonia overnight to contest next Thursday's election of a new 11-member collegial government for a five-year term.

After weeks of negotiations and after last month's election of the provincial governments, the rival pro-independence and anti-independence camps now run with two lists each.

The new Pacific Awakening party, which won three of the 54 Congress seats and holds the balance of power, has joined the list of the anti-independence Future with Confidence party, which is the single biggest party in Congress.

This follows last week's decision by Pacific Awakening to help elect a pro-independence politician as Congress president, which was decried by senior anti-independence politicians.

It also follows yesterday's presentation by Pacific Awakening of its 10-point programme to reform the economy.

In Congress, the pro-independence parties have 26 seats and the two anti-independence parties 25, with the mainly Wallisian and Futunian Pacific Awakening party holding the balance.

The names on the four lists are now being vetted by the French High Commission for formal approval.

Once a new government has been formed it will proceed to elect a president.

New Caledonia Congress

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Walter Zweifel