6 Apr 2007

French Polynesia's Tahoeraa keen for Fritch to be assembly president

3:29 pm on 6 April 2007

French Polynesia's ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party is adamant that it wants its candidate to be elected as the president of the assembly next week.

The party leader, Gaston Flosse, has restated his wish that his son-in-law Edouard Fritch be chosen to replace Philip Schyle as part of the division of responsibilities within the ruling so-called pro-autonomy platform.

Last December, the assembly chose a Tahoeraa politician, Gaston Tong Sang, as president after defectors from the previous government joined the Tahoeraa-led coalition on condition that Mr Flosse not be made the president.

Mr Flosse says the deal that was reached to oust the previous government is no longer valid.

And he says Mr Tong Sang is fortunate that the Tahoeraa is behind him but wonders how far that will go.

The election of an assembly president, whose term is one year, is due in a week.

It's not clear whether the incumbent, Philip Schyle of the Fetia Api Party, will seek re-eleciton.

The opposition is expected to nominate Antony Geros who was elected assembly president twice before.