New Caledonia Government Elects Germain As New President

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Pro-independence side supports Caledonia Together Party leader

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 1, 2015) – New Caledonia's government has elected Philippe Germain as the new president, ending a political crisis that erupted last year.

Mr Germain of the Caledonia Together Party was chosen just hours after the French High Commission convened a meeting of the 11-member government.

This followed a decision by the pro-independence side to choose one of the candidates of the rival anti-independence camp in order to re-install a properly constituted government.

Mr Germain replaces Cynthia Ligeard of the Front for Unity, whose tenure ended in December only six months into a five-year term when her government collapsed amid disagreements within the anti-independence camp.

She stayed on as a caretaker president and sought re-election.

The government chose Jean-Louis d'Angleberme as new vice president.

Under a power-sharing deal that ended with the collapse of the Ligeard-led government, the presidency was to be held by the Front For Unity.

The Caledonia Together Party was given the presidency of the southern province.

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