6 Jan 2009

French Polynesia's opposition gears up for top level talks amid political impasse

11:00 am on 6 January 2009

The leaders of French Polynesia's opposition. Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru, are to meet today ahead of talks the following day with President Gaston Tong Sang aimed at breaking the political deadlock.

The opposition and the ruling To Tatou Aia coalition each has 28 seats in the 57-member assembly which is struggling to pass the 2009 budget.

A senior opposition member, Tea Hirshon, says the territory is at an impasse but says her side is against striking deals with potential defectors to get a slim majority.

"There are already people who are already approaching us - 'um well we could come to your side but we want this and that', and of course we don't want go into that. This is why our position was: we should go back to election, and with a new electoral system we should be able to come with a strong majority."

Tea Hirshon.

Last year, France organised an early general election in its bid to boost political stability but the government formed after the poll was ousted only weeks later when two assembly members switched their political allegiance.