13 Oct 2008

Renewed calls for elections in French Polynesia as political instability threatens economy

4:20 pm on 13 October 2008

There are renewed calls in French Polynesia for fresh elections under a new electoral system as political instability is seen as threatening the economy.

The call has come from the Atia I Mua union as well as minor parties.

The opposition says a no confidence motion may be days or weeks away.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The head of the Atia i Mua, Jean-Marie Yan Tu, says voters should go back to polls although an early general election was held only last February. A French minister who has just completed a visit to Papeete, Yves Jego, says that's not the way forward, pointing to seven changes of government since 2004 which he puts down to the practices of the local politicians. The opposition has been boosted by Gaston Flosse's re-election as senator last month and now again suggests it may lodge a motion of no confidence within days or weeks to oust the Gaston Tong Sang-led coalition. The push comes as all economic indicators point downward, with a cross section of the territory's population alarmed that France is about to cut pensions which make up a key source of revenue."