21 Feb 2008

No majority yet as French Polynesian assembly to elect speaker

2:42 pm on 21 February 2008

Uncertainty continues in French Polynesia over whether a majority can be formed ahead of tomorrow's planned election of an assembly president.

None of the three lists in last week's early territorial election won a majority and talks between the two mainly pro-autonomy groups to agree on a power sharing arrangement have failed.

This comes amid continued top-level contacts between the Tahoeraa Huiraatira leader, Gaston Flosse, and the pro-independence Union For Democracy of Oscar Temaru.

Candidates for tomorrow's vote have yet to be nominated.

The French government, which ordered the early election under a new electoral system, has been urging a reconciliation among pro-autonomy politicians.

Attempts to get Union For Democracy assembly members to defect have so far failed.