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NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (Oct. 16, 2002 - Oceania Flash)---Voters in the tiny island of Lifou (Loyalty group, northeast of New Caledonia's main island) are once again being asked back to the polls this weekend, Télé-Nouvelle-Calédonie reported.

In the past four years, Lifou's municipal elections have been held 10 times.

The last poll results (in March 2001) were once again contested and Paris-based State Council again ruled on the matter: it declared the results null and void.

The municipality was controlled by a former first secretary in the Island Province Council, Jacques Lallier.

Since last month, a caretaker administration has been put in place, but it doesn't have the power to pass next year's budget.

Five lists of candidates are competing in the municipal race: a joint FCCI-RPCR-FULK coalition (RPCR and FCCI are currently in a coalition agreement in the government majority); pro-independence FLNKS components Union Calédonienne, LKS and PALIKA (all three on separate lists); and the Melanesian Progressive Union (UPM).

If no one party gets an absolute majority on Oct. 20, a second round will take place the following week.

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