Business role of New Caledonia’s Gomes unacceptable

New Caledonian politician Philippe Gomes. Picture: RNZ

A top New Caledonian politician Philippe Gomes has been told that he cannot also be the chair of a company in the energy sector.

This has been decided by France’s constitutional court in Paris after he himself raised the matter to counter criticism of his role as board chair of New Caledonia Energy.

The company was formed two years ago and has been engaged to oversee the building of a major electricity plant feeding Noumea’s industrial area.

The court found his business role to be incompatible with his mandate as one of New Caledonia’s members of the French National Assembly.

Reports say Mr Gomes, who is the leader of the Caledonia Together Party, has one month to decide how he wants to proceed.

He has said he will accept the ruling but remain involved in the running of the company.

Another anti-independence party, the Caledonian Republicans, has issued a statement calling on Mr Gomes to resign from the energy company.

It denounced what it called the Gomes system of concentrating powers for personal ends.

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