22 Aug 2007

French Polynesian political talks remain inconclusive

6:40 pm on 22 August 2007

Talks in Paris to overcome the political crisis in French Polynesia have so far been inconclusive and it now appears unlikely that the opposition's Oscar Temaru will fly to France.

The French government convened a series of meetings with most French Polyensian parties this week in a bid to discuss a new electoral system and possible early elections.

The minister in charge of overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, is expected in Tahiti within the next two weeks to pursue negotiations as the Paris-backed French Polynesian President, Gaston Tong Sang, is no longer in a position to pass the budget.

Last week, his party's leader, Gaston Flosse, went into opposition, confirming the split in the so-called pro-autonomy camp.

Reliable sources say Mr Temaru's coalition is considering to table a no confidence motion when the assembly meets in September.

The Paris talks have heard various proposals on when elections should be held and there was no consensus to support a French plan to change the electoral system for a third time in three years.