17 Jun 2019

Rival Wallis king fails bid to be recognised

12:08 pm on 17 June 2019

France's highest administrative court has rejected a challenge to the 2016 election of Patalione Kanimoa as the only new king of Wallis.

A rival council on the island had elected Tominiko Halagahu as king but the French prefect of Wallis and Futuna at the time opted to recognise Patalione Kanimoa only.

Wallis and Futuna flag

Wallis and Futuna flag Photo: 123RF

The prefect Marcel Renouf said the choice was in part due to judicial proceedings having opened against some chiefs and Mr Halagahu for their role in an 11-day blockade of the territory's international airport over an employment dispute.

Mr Halagahu unsuccessfully appealed the prefect's decision first in the court in Wallis and Futuna and then in Paris, after which he took the case to the highest administrative court of France.

The final decision is that Mr Halagahu's appointment won't be entered into the Official Journal in which official records are registered.

A king and the chiefs are part of the territorial administration and on the payroll of the French republic.

Neighbouring Futuna has two kingdoms recognised by the French republic.