15 Feb 2005

Main parties lobby for support after tied election result in French Polynesia

3:54 pm on 15 February 2005

The leaders of Oscar Temaru's Union for Democracy Party in French Polynesia are lobbying representatives to back their side in order to have enough numbers to form a government.

The party is speaking in particular to an assembly member who changed allegiance during the past year.

Yesterday's by-election failed to give any party an outright majority.

Walter Zweifel reports from Papeete:

"Patricia Jennings was elected on the list of the Oscar Temaru-led coalition last year but is now affiliated with the newly formed Alliance for A New Democracy, or ADN. If Mr Temaru can win her back he will still be short of one seat to have a majority. This would replicate the situation a year ago when again Nicole Bouteau and Philip Schyle were the two holding the balance of power. But this time, she has ruled out a new formal coalition with Mr Temaru's party and also said no to a formal deal with Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party. The ADN also says it won't present a candidate for the presidency. After his re-election to the assembly yesterday, Mr Flosse has yet to decide whether he wants to be a member of the assembly or the president because by law he cannot be both. And by law he has thirty days to make up his mind unless the speaker convenes the assembly to force the decision."