29 Aug 2007

French Polynesian power struggle enters new phase

2:02 pm on 29 August 2007

French Polynesia's small parties which support the embattled government of Gaston Tong Sang have called for a peaceful march in Tahiti at the end of next week in view of the political crisis.

An extraordinary sitting of the assembly has been called by 42 of the 57 members for today to set a time to debate a no confidence motion submitted by the opposition Union For Democracy last weekend.

Mr Tong Sang says the assembly president failed to conform with assembly rules in accepting the motion and therefore an appeal challenging his decision has been sent to the supreme court in Paris for an urgent decision.

At the same time, Mr Tong Sang has called for the assembly to sit in two days to discuss pending government matters.

Some of the small parties say they won't vote and not choose a candidate of either of the main parties, should the government fall and fresh presidential elections be called.

The latest moves come as the French minister in charge of overseas territories is due in Tahiti in two days to discuss the political crisis, including the possibility of fresh elections under a new electoral system.