13 May 2014

Post-election talks begin in New Caledonia

12:15 pm on 13 May 2014

Negotiations have begun in New Caledonia where no party alone won a majority in Sunday's provincial elections.

Philippe Michel of the Caledonia Together Party says discussions began yesterday following strong support during the campaign period for unity and consolidation.

The party made gains to become the biggest force in the traditionally anti-independence and most populous southern province, but it fell short of securing an absolute majority.

In the less populated northern province and in the Loyalty Islands province, the pro-independence lists maintained their overwhelming position.

54 members of the three provincial assemblies will be in Congress, which will be tasked with overseeing the last phase of the Noumea Accord which provides for an independence referendum by 2018.

Earlier Philippe Gomes of the Caledonia Together party said New Caledonians would not forgive politicians if they failed to find common ground in a decisive point of the country's history.