By RNZ Pacific
Preliminary results from New Caledonia’s provincial elections show that the anti-independence parties will retain their slim majority in the 54-member Congress.
Local television projections show that the new anti-independence majority will get 28 seats, including three of a new party, Pacific Awakening, which emanates from the Wallisian community.
This is two more than the 26 seats of the pro-independence bloc of five parties.
In the new Congress, which will be made up of members of the three provincial assemblies, the Future with Confidence coalition led by Sonia Backes will be the biggest party with a projected 18 seats.
Caledonia Together, which used to be the biggest party, is set to slump from 15 seats to seven.
According to unofficial results in the southern province, Backes’ coalition, which was formed for this election, won an absolute majority in the provincial assembly.
In the Loyalty Islands province, all seats went to pro-independence parties.
In the northern province, the pro-independence Uni/Palika list of the incumbent president Paul Neaoutyine came first, narrowly ahead of another pro-independence list.
Turnout was about 66 percent.
The new Congress will elect an 11-member collegial government for a five-year term.
Under the collegial system enshrined in the Noumea Accord, the government seats will be shared among the parties in proportion to their strength in Congress.
Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes, New Caledonia’s only daily newspaper, described the result as “The great upheaval” in its front page report, describing the massive southern provincial reshuffle while the north and the Loyalty islands provinces had little change.
- This article is published under the Pacific Media Centre’s content partnership with Radio New Zealand.
- Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes coverage
Pacific Media Centre’s Southern Cross radio programme on the New Caledonian provincial elections.