19 Feb 2008

Coalition talks in French Polynesia break down

4:13 pm on 19 February 2008

Talks in French Polynesia to form a majority for the next five years have collapsed.

The leader of the To Tatou Aia coalition, Gaston Tong Sang, has rejected the demands put to it by the Tahoeraa Huiraatira during last week's three day meeting to form a pro-autonomy majority.

The chief negotiator for the Tahoeraa, Edouard Fritch, has announced the failure to reach an agreement as three days remain before the newly elected assembly is to meet to choose an assembly president.

The Tahoeraa demands five ministerial positions as well as the presidency of the assembly, which To Tatou Aia considers to be excessive.

A To Tatou Aia leader said the demands were aimed at forging closer links between the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, and Oscar Temaru of the Union For Democracy.

Last year the two leaders jointly ousted the first government led by Mr Tong Sang.

The early election of an assembly was called by France in a bid to increase political stability but no party won an absolute majority.