3 Aug 2007

French Polynesian MP suggest unelected official to be interim president

12:47 pm on 3 August 2007

The opposition in French Polynesia says an unelected official may have to run the territory if the government falls.

Rifts within the ruling coalition led to the Tahoreaa Huiraatira seeking a deal with the opposition in a bid to oust President Gaston Tong Sang.

But the opposition Tavini Huiraatira says it won't back a proposal of the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, for him to be returned as president.

A senior member of the opposition, Tea Hirshon, says if they dislodge Mr Tong Sang, it is not clear who would run the territory ahead of likely early elections.

She says the Tahoeraa won't support the opposition leader, Oscar Temaru, who has the support of 26 of the assembly's 57 members.

Ms Hirshon says an outsider would have to take over in the interim.

"It could be the high commissioner who runs the place with the ministers from each side, it could be someone from the societe civile, someone neutral or from the business community, it could be him."

Tea Hirshon of the opposition Tavini Huiraatira Party in French Polynesia