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New Caledonia’s Backes joins French government

Monday 4 July 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in New Caledonia, Regional

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New Caledonia’s Backes joins French government
Sonia Backes. Photo: RNZ

The president of New Caledonia's Southern Province Sonia Backes has been given a post in France's reshuffled and enlarged 42-member government.

The prime minister Elisabeth Borne appointed her as the secretary of citizenship within the interior ministry, which has taken over the overseas ministry.

The reshuffle means that the position of overseas minister has been abolished and replaced with a minister delegate, a post given to Jean-Francois Carenco.

The previous minister Yael Braun-Pivet resigned last month after just one month in office to successfully run for the presidency of the French National Assembly.

Ms Backes said while joining the French interior ministry she would retain her position as president of the Southern Province.

Southern Province president Sonia Backes and public prosecutor Yves Dupas
Southern Province president Sonia Backes and public prosecutor Yves Dupas Photo: supplied FB

She is the first politician from New Caledonia to become part of the government of France.

This year, she spearheaded a merger of four anti-independence parties in New Caledonia to support the election campaign for President Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance party in last month's election of a new French National Assembly.

Both of New Caledonia's seats in Paris were won by her coalition's candidates.