5 Jun 2004

French Polynesia presidency vote scheduled for next week

9:16 am on 5 June 2004

The French Polynesia Assembly's new majority coalition has voted to schedule the election for a new president of the territorial government for Friday.

The decision was made after the assembly elected a new speaker by a 29-28 vote yesterday morning.

The Assembly also had to negotiate a technical hurdle posed by the new opposition.

The fight for the presidency will pit Oscar Temaru against the President Gaston Flosse.

Mr Temaru stands to become French Polynesia's first pro-independence President.

Antony Geros, was elected speaker of the assembly yesterday, confirming the new majority coalition.

Mr Flosse, meanwhile, took a seat in the assembly's opposition benches for the first time since 1987.