Loyalists quit New Caledonia Congress over budget disagreement

Twenty-five New Caledonian members of Congress known as “Loyalists” have left Congress after a disagreement over the 2022 budget.

On Tuesday March 29, the second day of the vote on New Caledonia’s 2022 budget, the Congress of New Caledonia voted on the inversion budget and the distribution budget.

The investment budget is $600 million for public institutions in the territory.

The distribution budget is 1 billion US dollars distributed to the districts and regions of the territory of New Caledonia.

Both budgets were passed, with 29 votes in favor and 25 votes against.

The alliance of anti-independence parties, known as the Loyalists, said they felt ignored. Virginie Ruffenach, a member of the AEC (Avenir en Confiance) party, said there was a lack of cooperation from the independence government, which had not answered their financial questions, which led loyalists to remove.

Photo: RNZ Pacific / Walter Zweifel

The President of New Caledonia, Louis Mapou, declared that the walkout should not go unnoticed and that nothing justified the departure of the elected representatives of the opposition.

“We have come a long way so far. Democracy has been a huge, permanent and historic struggle. That is why we should not consider the walkout as a minor incident,” he said.

The majority insisted on ending Tuesday’s congressional meeting. However, the loyalists did not return, and the rest of Congress continued the vote in their absence.

Loyalists criticized the decrease in funding to provinces and municipalities in the 2022 distribution budget, which was cut by $45.6 million, four percent less than the previous budget.

About Michael S. Montanez

Check Also

Republicans in Congress introduce bill to restrict abortion nationwide

WASHINGTON — Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced a bill banning …