25 Feb 2005

Party of French Polynesia's Gaston Flosse chooses alternative candidate for president

8:38 am on 25 February 2005

French Polynesia's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has selected the mayor of Bora Bora as its candidate for next week's presidential election.

Its central committee made a decision late last night to nominate Gaston Tong Sang.

The government led by the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, lost a vote of no confidence five days ago.

Oscar Temaru, the leader of the Union For Democracy was officially nominated for president earlier yesterday.

The Temaru-led coalition appears to have a majority with the defection of Jean-Alain Frebault, who is set to swap sides for the third time in nine months.

Mr Frebault joined a meeting of the Union For Democracy but told RFO public radio that he's yet to make a decision.

"Even though no decision has been taken yet, we have been in contact with our political backers in the Marquesas to give them an update about the current discussions."