29 Dec 2008

Call for broad coalition government and new leader in French Polynesia

6:43 am on 29 December 2008

There has been a call in French Polynesia for a broad coalition

government under a new leader as the assembly continues to struggle to pass a budget for 2009.

The call was made by the ruling To Tatou Aia coalition's assembly leader,Jean-Christophe Bouissou, in a weekend interview with the the Depeche de Tahiti newspaper.

He has proposed a government made up in proportion to the parties'strength in the assembly, adding that the economic and social policies of the two main blocs are quite similar.

The President, Gaston Tong Sang, has held two rounds of talks with the opposition's Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru this month and is due to meet again next week in a new bid to find a way forward.

All three men have been president this year which has seen continued political instability despite last February's early general election under a new electoral system.

Last week, Mr Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party met and spoke out against early elections, which Mr Temaru had suggested in an effort to end the deadlock in the assembly.