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New Caledonia Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies
conventional short form: New Caledonia
local long form: Territoire des Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances
local short form: Nouvelle-Caledonie
etymology: British explorer Captain James COOK discovered and named New Caledonia in 1774; he used the appellation because the northeast of the island reminded him of Scotland (Caledonia is the Latin designation for Scotland)
Dependency statusterritorial collectivity (or a sui generis collectivity) of France since 1998; an independence referendum is to take place by November 2018
Government typeparliamentary democracy (Territorial Congress); an overseas collectivity of France
Capitalname: Noumea
geographic coordinates: 22 16 S, 166 27 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions3 provinces; Province Iles (Islands Province), Province Nord (North Province), and Province Sud (South Province)
Independencenone (overseas territory of France); note - a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but was rejected; a new referendum must be held before 2019
National holidayFete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - the local holiday is New Caledonia Day, 24 September (1853)
Constitution4 October 1958 (French Constitution with changes as reflected in Noumea Accord of 5 May 1998) (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on French law; the 1988 Matignon Accords (signed in the Matignon Hotel) set up a 10-year period of development during which the Kanak community received substantial autonomy but agreed not to raise the independence issue
Citizenshipsee France
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017); represented by High Commissioner Thierry LATASTE (since 20 June 2016)
head of government: President of the Government Philippe GERMAINE (since 1 April 2015); Vice President Jean-Louis D'ANGLEBERME (since 1 April 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet elected from and by the Territorial Congress
elections/appointments: French president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of New Caledonia elected by Territorial Congress for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 10 June 2011 (next to be held in June 2016)
election results: Philippe GERMAINE (Caledonia Together) elected president by Territorial Congress; vote NA
Legislative branchunicameral Territorial Congress or Congres du Territoire (54 seats; members indirectly selected proportionally by the partisan makeup of the 3 Provincial Assemblies or Assemblees Provinciales; members of the 3 Provincial Assemblies directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
note: the Customary Senate is the assembly of the various traditional councils of the Kanaks, the indigenous population, which rules on laws affecting the indigenous population; New Caledonia holds two seats in the French Senate; elections last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held not later than September 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2; New Caledonia also elects two seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held on 17 June 2012 (next to be held by June 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2
elections: last held on 11 May 2014 (next to be held on May 2019); note - the government that was elected on 11 May 2014 collapsed within 6 months leading to a new election on 31 December 2015 which re-elected the same government
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Caledonia Together 13, FLNKS 9, UMP 7, Union for Caledonia in France 6, Build Our Rainbow Nation 6, National Union for Independence 6, other 7
Judicial branchhighest resident court(s): Court of Appeal in Noumea or Cour d'Appel; organized into civil, commercial, social, and pre-trial investigation chambers; court bench normally includes the court president and 2 counsilors); Administrative Court (number of judges NA); note - final appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are referred to the Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation in Paris; final appeals beyond the Administrative Court are referred to the Administrative Court of Appeal in Paris
judge selection and term of office: judge appointment and tenure based on France's judicial system
subordinate courts: Courts of First Instance include: civil, juvenile, commercial, labor, police, criminal, assizes, and also a pre-trial investigation chamber; Joint Commerce Tribunal; administrative courts
Political parties and leadersBuild Our Rainbow Nation
Caledonia Together [Philippe GERMAIN]
Caledonian Union or UC [Daniel GOA]
Future Together (l'Avenir Ensemble) [Harold MARTIN]
Kanak Socialist Front for National Liberation or FLNKS (alliance includes PALIKA, UNI, UC, and UPM) [Roch WAMYTAN]
Labor Party (Parti Travailliste) or PT [Louis Kotra UREGEI]
National Union for Independence (Union Nationale pour l'Independance) or UNI
Party of Kanak Liberation (Parti de Liberation Kanak) or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE]
Socialist Kanak Liberation or LKS [Nidoish NAISSELINE]
The Republicans (formerly The Rally or UMP) [Pierre FROGIER]
Union for Caledonia in France; note - dissolved in July 2014
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationITUC (NGOs), PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), WMO
Diplomatic representation in the USnone (overseas territory of France)
Diplomatic representation from the USnone (overseas territory of France)
Flag descriptionNew Caledonia has two official flags; alongside the flag of France, the Kanak (indigenous Melanesian) flag has equal status; the latter consists of three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a large yellow disk - diameter two-thirds the height of the flag - shifted slightly to the hoist side is edged in black and displays a black fleche faitiere symbol, a native rooftop adornment
National symbol(s)fleche faitiere (native rooftop adornment), kagu bird; national colors: blue, red, green, yellow, black
National anthemname: "Soyons unis, devenons freres" (Let Us Be United, Let Us Become Brothers)
lyrics/music: Chorale Melodia (a local choir)
note: adopted 2008; contains a mixture of lyrics in both French and Nengone (an indigenous language); as a self-governing territory of France, in addition to the local anthem, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017