26 Jan 2009

French Polynesia talks point to planned Tong Sang ouster

5:36 am on 26 January 2009

Talks have been held in French Polynesia to form a unity government in an apparent move to topple President Gaston Tong Sang who has been in power since April.

His eight-party To Tatou Aia coalition has split and the opposition's Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru have called for a joint approach in the face of an exceptional situation.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Amid a deadlock in the legislature, the To Tatou Aia's assembly leader, Jean Christophe Bouissou, has broken ranks and is finalising an arrangement with his former rivals in a bid to pass the 2009 budget. Failure to so by the end of March would give the French high commissioner control over the territory's finances. Mr Flosse says a no confidence motion could be lodged any time but as yet no politician has put their name forward to replace Mr Tong Sang. According to Mr Temaru, a change is needed. He says five years of instability is enough."