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Tuesday 19 April 2016 | Published in Regional


WALLIS AND FUTUNA – France is expected to announce who of the two kings installed in Wallis at the weekend is the legitimate one.

A double crowning and much confusion is the result of a rift that has deepened between rival royal families in Wallis and Futuna after a second king was installed by a new council of chiefs the day after the crowning of the first king.

The two-year vacancy on the throne of the kingdom of Uvea was filled when Tominiko Halagahu was installed in a ceremony in his district on Saturday.

Public radio said this followed a dispute earlier in the week when Halagahu’s opponents occupied the royal palace.

On Sunday, the rival council of chiefs proceeded to install their man, Patalione Kanimoa, as its king in a ceremony at the palace.

The second king is a former president of the territorial assembly.

France officially recognises only one king on Wallis.

The prefect administering the territory said last week that he would have to interfere in the rivalry.

An entry into the official journal is yet to made and that will officially determine which king France considers to be the legitimate monarch.

The king and the chiefs are part of the territory’s administration and are on the payroll of the French republic.

France has already sent extra police from New Caledonia amid fears of worsening tension between the rival sides.

A Wallisian customary chief in Noumea said Patalione Kanimoa was the only legitimate monarch because his installation was performed in line with the sacred procedure.