21 Apr 2008

French Polynesia's president presents new government

1:21 pm on 21 April 2008

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Tong Sang, has presented his new government - the third the territory has seen in just over two months.

Mr Tong Sang presented a 14-member line-up, with, Jules Ienfa, as vice-president and several ministers from the administration he led last year.

The ministers include several controversial appointments made amid allegations that corrupt practices were used to secure political support.

The government again includes Armelle Merceron who was elected into the assembly in February as a member of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party which Mr Tong Sang quit last year.

He has also chosen as minister the daughter of Justine Teura who defected to his side last weekend to give his To Tatou Aia coalition the minimum 29 votes in the assembly needed to oust the Gaston Flosse-led government just seven weeks into its five-year term.

Mr Tong Sang says a 15th minister is yet to be appointed to his team.

Attempts to form a broader government failed as the corruption allegations surfaced.

One opposition assembly member, Tamara Bopp Dupont, has lodged a complaint with the French supreme court seeking to annul Mr Tong Sang's election because of alleged corruption in securing the defections to oust the government.