13 Feb 2008

French Polynesian pro-autonomy groups may try to establish Assembly majority

4:42 pm on 13 February 2008

The leader of French Polynesia's To Tatou Aia coalition, Gaston Tong Sang, has proposed a face to face meeting with the Tahoeraa Huiraatira leader, Gaston Flosse, to be held tomorrow.

This comes after Mr Flosse gave Mr Tong Sang an ultimatum to agree to talks by this afternoon.

It follows last weekend's election called by France to increase stability.

Walter Zweifel reports from Papeete.

"The To Tatou Aia's appeal to pro-autonomy members of the two other parties to join it prompted Mr Flosse to write a letter seeking top level talks, saying he still wanted to negotiate a coalition. He had been stung by Mr Tong Sang's refusal to seek a meeting. In his ultimatum he accused To Tatou Aia of trying to bribe individual members of Tahoeraa to defect. The To Tatou Aia has rejected the claim and now agreed to meet. In the run up to the second round of the election the pro-autonomy parties failed to meet and agree on a joint programme. Mr Flosse says any programme depends on a To Tatou Aia dropping party hoppers from the last Assembly from any possible ministerial line up."