14 May 2008

French Polynesia assembly opens amid continued opposition boycott

3:12 pm on 14 May 2008

The French Polynesian government assembly members have begun a sitting amid pressure to pass a development proposal ahead of President Gaston Tong Sang's planned visit to France next week.

The meeting opened with a week's delay and amid a continued opposition boycott of the proceedings.

Last week, the opposition action prompted the government assembly members to consider electing a new assembly president to replace Oscar Temaru - a move whose legality was immediately questioned by the French high commission.

Mr Temaru has been the only opposition member to attend this morning's assembly meeting, heeding last week's call by the French high commission to convene the assembly without delay.

Today's opposition boycott has been accompanied by accusations that the committee process has not been followed properly.

It describes the way of trying to convene such meetings as a continuation of the putsch-like activities of the government because the scheduling has not been in line with the assembly rules.