8 Jan 2009

Political leaders in French Polynesia fail to break political deadlock

11:05 am on 8 January 2009

The three main political leaders in French Polynesia have met for a third round of talks but again failed to break a political deadlock.

However, the opposition's Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru and President Gaston Tong Sang agreed on the need to pass a budget that all sides are ready to support.

The 2009 budget wasn't passed by the end of December and should the assembly fail to agree on a document by the end of March, the territory's running will revert to the French high commissioner.

The ruling To Tatou Aia lost its majority in the assembly a month ago when one of its members decided to pull out of the bloc.

This has left it with 28 seats, which is the same number the opposition has.

After yesterday's talks, Mr Tong Sang said he was pleased there was no longer talk of fresh elections.

Mr Flosse says if there is an broadening of the debate, the To Tatou Aia group won't be able to impose its budget but it would be necessary to have a unity budget.

Mr Temaru says there has to be a long-term view and he says they are ready to go to Paris to discuss a plan to advance French Polynesia.