22 Dec 2008

French Polynesia's president may ask for fresh elections

11:15 am on 22 December 2008

French Polynesia's President, Gaston Tong Sang, has not ruled out asking France for fresh general elections to end Tahiti's political deadlock as the current term of the assembly won't end until 2013.

He made the comment after talks with the opposition's Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru who have called for fresh polls only ten months after France ordered an early general election under a revised electoral system and against the will of an overwhelming majority of the assembly.

The 2009 budget is yet to be passed but Mr Tong Sang has lost his one-vote assembly majority after one of his coalition members this month quit his grouping, demanding that the budget be revised.

Last week's scheduled budget debate was adjourned until Tuesday to allow for the meeting of the three political leaders who have now arranged to meet again on Wednesday.

The February election was held on the orders of Paris under a revised statute which the French Polynesian authorities refused to publish to make it official.

Mr Temaru has now told the Nouvelles de Tahiti newspaper that France has to recognise its errors, adding that French Polynesians are not pigs who will eat whatever they are given.