31 Mar 2006

French Polynesian minister Tefaarere resigns

8:59 am on 31 March 2006

French Polynesia's minister for small and medium enterprises, Hiro Tefaarere, has resigned just six months after he had been added to the cabinet.

Mr Tefaarere says he is relinquishing his post because of disagreements within the ruling coalition and his failure to get support for two development projects.

He says his move is not directed at President Oscar Temaru, whom he describes as a man of convictions, but at those surrounding the president.

Mr Tefaarere will return to the assembly and take the place of Lela Tefaatau who had joined the assembly when he was made an additional minister.

He says he is yet to decide whether he will stand as a candidate in the election of a new assembly president in two weeks.

He was the interim speaker for just under half a year after the French supreme court annulled the result of the 2004 territorial election in the Tahiti/Moorea electorate which ousted the assembly president, Antony Geros.