31 Aug 2007

Fritch made candidate as French Polynesia's Tong Sang faces ouster

3:40 pm on 31 August 2007

The leader of French Polynesia's Tahoreaa Huiraatira party, Gaston Flosse, says he will nominate his son-in-law and current assembly president, Edouard Fritch, as candidate to succeed the current head of the territorial government.

This comes ahead of tomorrow's planned sitting which is due to debate an opposition no confidence motion aimed at ousting President Gaston Tong Sang who is also a member of the Tahoeraa.

Attempts at reconciliation within the Tahoeraa have failed but Mr Tong Sang has neither resigned from the party nor been expelled from it.

Mr Flosse says he won't vote for the no confidence motion but allow his party colleagues to vote as they wish.

Mr Tong Sang has the backing of no more than a dozen members in the 57-strong assembly.

Although the motion has not been voted on yet, Mr Flosse has already proposed a power-sharing deal which would give the opposition the vice-presidency and the assembly presidency.

In recent weeks, France has suggested that early general elections will be held under a new electoral system.