29 Aug 2007

French Polynesian president seeks Paris court ruling in dispute with assembly head

3:11 pm on 29 August 2007

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, has sought an urgent ruling from the supreme court in Paris on whether the assembly president acted within the rules when he called today's extraordinary sitting.

42 of the assembly's 57 members asked for the extraordinary sitting to debate a motion of no confidence submitted by the opposition Union For Democracy last weekend.

Despite Mr Tong Sang's move, the assembly held a brief meeting and local radio says the opposition has again submitted its motion.

The president has in his turn asked for a sitting in two days to discuss pending government matters.

The small parties supporting Mr Tong Sang have called for a peaceful march in Tahiti at the end of next week in view of the continued political crisis.

They say they won't vote endorse the process to dislodge the government and elect a new president.

The stand-off comes as the French minister in charge of overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, is due in Tahiti in two days to discuss the political crisis, including the possibility of fresh elections under a new electoral system.