24 Aug 2007

French Polynesia political talks to resume in Tahiti next week

1:30 pm on 24 August 2007

Talks on French Polynesia's political crisis will resume in Tahiti next week following a series of meetings in Paris involving the French minister in charge of overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, and almost all French Polynesian party leaders.

The opposition's Oscar Temaru stayed away from the Paris meetings which heard various proposals on the possibility of early elections and changes to the electoral system.

The French-backed President Gaston Tong Sang, who is to host the French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Papeete in two months, has lost the support of his party and can no longer count on enough assembly members to pass a budget.

The opposition Union For Democracy is set to try to unseat Mr Tong Sang when the assembly is due to be reconvened in mid-September.

In a bid to restore political stability in French Polynesia, France is considering early elections with two rounds of voting under a new system.