14 Apr 2008

Political Parties in French Polynesia exchange accusations ahead of no confidence vote

5:29 am on 14 April 2008

As the French Polynesian assembly readies itself for a no confidence vote this week, there has been a sharp exchange between the opposition and the government formed less than two months ago.

The leader of the To Tatou Aia opposition, Gaston Tong Sang, has accused the president, Gaston Flosse, of public perjury for saying in January that he wouldn't enter a coalition with the pro-independence Union For Democracy.

During the post-election negotiations in February, Mr Flosse's

Tahoeraa Huiraatira, struck a deal with the Union For Democracy to be returned to power for a five-year term.

The move angered France's ruling UMP Party which severed all ties to the Tahoeraa.

Meanwhile, the Union For Democracy has accused the opposition of launching a brainwash manoeuvre supported by the local press by suggesting who might defect to oust the government.

The no confidence vote, the eighth in four years, is to be held in two

days but if there is no quorum the vote will be deferred by 24


If the government falls, Mr Tong Sang will immediately become president under the new provisions approved by France last December as part of reforms aimed at increasing political stability in French Polynesia.

Should the opposition lose its bid to oust the government, it will have only one more chance to file an no confidence motion in the current five-year term.