9 Jul 2007

New French PM hopes French Polynesia will regain political stability

10:13 am on 9 July 2007

The new French prime minister, Francois Fillon, has expressed his hope

that French Polynesia will regain its political stability.

His comments came after a meeting in Paris with the French Polynesian

President, Gaston Tong Sang, who came to power in December after the

defection of outer island assembly members from the Union of Democracy, led by Oscar Temaru.

Mr Fillon says political stability is needed for the territory to progress economically, adding that the euro could be introduced in the territory if certain conditions are met.

This year, France changed the electoral system in French Polynesia at the behest of the now ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

Three years ago, France had modified the system on demand of the Tahoeraa but that change was seen as the reason for the Tahoeraa losing power to Mr Temaru's coalition.

Mr Temaru has been demanding fresh elections, saying his government lost power because of the activities of the French UMP and its affiliates in Tahiti.