11 Apr 2008

Talks afoot in French Polynesia to avert government ouster

3:59 pm on 11 April 2008

A government member of the French Polynesian assembly, Tea Hirshon, says talks are being held to avert defections which could bring down the Gaston Flosse-led administration put in place in February.

The opposition leader, Gaston Tong Sang, has deposited a motion which, if passed next week, would make him the new president.

Mr Tong Sang is the leader of the To Tatou Aia coalition, which is French Polynesia's biggest political party and the local partner of France's ruling UMP Party.

Outer island assembly members have spearheaded the push to dislodge the government as the opposition is reportedly wooing Georges Handerson after he failed to retain the environment portfolio now held by the daughter of the assembly president, Oscar Temaru.

Mr Temaru says he was due to got to Paris next week but in view of the challenge he will have to defer the trip.

Mr Tong Sang says he has a majority supporting him but Ms Hirshon says this is not certain.

"This is such a word of hypocrites. I know there is some satisfaction among some of us but everything seems to be under control."

Tea Hirshon.

If there is no quorum on Tuesday, the vote will be held on Wednesday.