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Verge elected as new Wallis and Futuna assembly president
10:38 pm GMT+12, 04/04/2017, Wallis and Futuna

A new assembly president has been elected in Wallis and Futuna but nine of the 20 representatives ignored the meeting.
 
The boycott was triggered by news that the group's most senior member was not available for the sitting which was the first since last month's territorial election.
 
The French prefect Jean-Francis Treffel allowed the sitting to open and a French-born businessman David Verge was elected, replacing Mikaele Kulimoetoke.
 
Verge was first elected to the assembly five years ago but because of campaign finance irregularities, he lost his seat a year later and was declared ineligible to hold office for a year.
 
He had been implicated in an alleged fraud but the case is yet to go to court.
 
According to observers the new majority in the assembly reflects allegiance to the one king of Wallis Patalione Kanimoa who is recognised by the French authorities.
 
Rival clans recognised another king.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS


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