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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (May 12, 1999 - Radio Australia/PACNEWS)---The French High Commissioner in New Caledonia says he will still have an important role after he hands over the administration of the French territory’s Government to the newly-elected Congress.

As a follow-up to Sunday’s election, Radio Australia reports that the new Congress will appoint a President and a Cabinet of up to 11 ministers next month, which will become New Caledonia’s new administrative Government.

High Commissioner Dominique Bur said gradually all but a few responsibilities, such as defence, police and monetary control, will be turned over to the new Government.

However, he said, the High Commissioner’s Office will still have the responsibility to safeguard certain rights.

"It will be the guarantor of public liberty, also of legalities," he noted.

Bur said the Noumea Accord provides for power sharing among all political parties with members elected to New Caledonia’s new Congress.

The main anti-independence party, the "Rally for Caledonia in the Republic" (RPCR), led by Jacque LaFleur, won 24 seats in the 54 seat Congress. The rival pro-independence party, the FLNKS, won 12 seats.

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