18 Dec 2008

French Polynesia's President convenes a special budget session despite lack of numbers

9:21 am on 18 December 2008

French Polynesia's President has convened a special budget session of the French Polynesia Assembly for tomorrow even though he still lacks a majority of the 57 representatives.

Two opposition leaders, Assembly Speaker Oscar Temaru, who is due back in Tahiti from New Zealand tomorrow night, and French Senator Gaston Flosse will not be there.

Nevertheless, Gaston Tong Sang convened the meeting and the leaders of the assembly's party groups put together Monday an agenda for tomorrow's meeting.

Pacific Magazine says the agenda not only includes the Tong Sang government's proposed 2009 budget, but also six other measures.

Still uncertain though is whether Mr Temaru and Mr Flosse plan to attend a multi-party summit that Mr Tong Sang has rescheduled for Saturday to try and find a way out of the week-old political stalemate.

The assembly's 90-day regular budgetary session ended Monday with no meeting, forcing a special budget session for approval of the 2009 government budget before a December 31 deadline.

Last week, Mr Tong Sang said he is not going to take the risk of going to the assembly to present a budget without a majority.