14 Dec 2006

French Polynesian president toppled in assembly vote

12:00 pm on 14 December 2006

The French Polynesian government of Oscar Temaru has been toppled in a vote of no confidence.

29 opposition members approved a motion tabled at the weekend to oust Mr Temaru's coalition for the second time in just over two years.

A new president will be chosen next week.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The 28 MPs of Oscar Temaru's coalition boycotted today's sitting which took just an hour to remove the government. The Tahoeraa Huiraatira politician, Gaston Tong Sang, accused Mr Temaru of causing social tension and of racism. The assembly president, Philip Schyle, read out the result of the secret ballot. But Mr Schyle has let it be known that he won't vote for any candidate emanating from the opposition camp because he wants fresh general elections to break the impasse. The veteran leader, Gaston Flosse, warned Mr Temaru against claiming any legitimacy, saying he lost the confidence of the house. And he went on to tell Mr Temaru that he had not been elected by the people. Fresh presidential elections have been called for December the 21st. Candidates have to be registered with the assembly by Saturday midnight."