4 Nov 2010

Amid budget woes, French Polynesia president urged to quit

2:56 pm on 4 November 2010

French Polynesian opposition politicians have used the start of the budget debate to urge the President, Gaston Tong Sang, to resign.

His To Tatou Aia coalition has the support of only 14 of the assembly's 57 members as he is tasked with passing a budget by the end of the year.

One opposition politician described his outline as a purely academic presentation that has no hope of passing, while another labelled it a document lacking in vision and worthy of an election campaign.

The budget calls for cuts as the territory is in an unprecedented economic crisis.

Mr Tong Sang says his plan is one of rigour, and both reasoned and pragmatic.

He has challenged his rivals, saying if they have a new majority with a political progamme and a new leader, the way forward is simple but added if he resigned he would leave behind a ship without captain.