11 Dec 2009

Government boycotts planned French Polynesia assembly sitting

11:27 am on 11 December 2009

The assembly members of the new French Polynesian ruling coalition have decided to boycott today's scheduled sitting amid uncertainty over whether they can form a majority.

The assembly has been due to choose new commissions after the government of Oscar Temaru was voted out two weeks ago.

The coalition - made up of To Tatou Aia and the Tahoeraa Huiraatira - says it is awaiting the return from Paris of the assembly president, Philip Schyle.

Last week, the government found itself to be vote short when it wanted to adjourn a sitting, and it accused the acting speaker of ignoring the rules.

The instability was highlighted when one assembly member, Heifara Izal, changed sides twice in a day to first end and then restore the new government's one-vote majority in the assembly.

This comes as the new government struggles to finalise the 2010 budget, with its spokesman warning of funding shortfalls to meet commitments made for 2009.