13 Feb 2008

Leader of French Polynesia's To Tatou Aia coalition yet to contact other party leaders

10:38 am on 13 February 2008

The leader of French Polynesia's To Tatou Aia coalition, Gaston Tong Sang, is yet to contact other party leaders in a bid to form a majority.

He needs at least another two seats in the 57-member assembly after the inconclusive weekend territorial election.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Mr Tong Sang has appealed for support from anyone backing his cause amid apparent hope that this will trigger defections from the Tahoeraa Huiraatira and the Union For Democracy. But the two parties object to attempts for their members to be courted individually, preferring there would be party-to-party talks. However, the recent swing to To Tatou Aia has heightened the risk of more Tahoeraa members walking away. Should Mr Flosse's party remain united and stay in opposition it could block the 2008 budget as it did before Christmas. In the absence of any top-level negotiations, the Tahoeraa's Edouard Fritch, has called for the assembly to meet right away as a way forward. Nine days of lobbying remain before the new assembly is due to elect a speaker. In Papeete, I'm Walter Zweifel."