20 Dec 2008

French Polynesia budget debate adjourned amid political impasse

11:09 am on 20 December 2008

The extraordinary budget debate of French Polynesia's assembly has been adjourned until next week shortly after it had been opened.

There was a quorum yesterday to proceed but the members decided to put off their discussions to allow key party leaders to meet and discuss the political impasse.

The gathering is planned to include President Gaston Tong Sang as well as the opposition's Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru who both have been outside French Polynesia for much of the past few weeks.

The opposition has been asking Mr Tong Sang to step down and he has been saying he will do whatever it takes to break the deadlock.

The ruling To Tatou Aia coalition lost its majority last week but the member who quit the political grouping, Sandra Levy-Agami, now says she will back the budget if its is revised.

This comes amid concern over the state of the economy faced by declining tourism figures and growing unemployment.