19 Jun 2009

French Polynesia's To Tatou Aia strikes partnership with France's UMP

1:06 pm on 19 June 2009

The anti-independence party in French Polynesia's coalition government has signed a partnership agreement with France's ruling UMP Party.

The deal was signed by the To Tatou Aia leader and former president, Gaston Tong Sang, and Xavier Bertrand, who is the UMP's secretary-general.

Last year, the UMP severed all ties with Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party because it refused to endorse Mr Tong Sang's bid to become president.

After an early general election, Mr Flosse sided with Mr Temaru instead to form a government but following two defections, Mr Tong Sang managed to get the majority to become president after all.

But in February, Mr Tong Sang resigned as president, yet in April, his party returned to the government benches when it decided to side with the pro-independence party of Mr Temaru.