12 Feb 2009

Second vote under way to choose French Polynesia president

3:50 pm on 12 February 2009

French Polynesia's assembly has resumed its sitting to elect a new president after this morning's inconclusive vote.

Four candidates stood this morning, but only two decided to seek the presidency in the second round.

They are Oscar Temaru of the pro-independence Union For Democracy won 24 of the assembly's 57 votes and Gaston Tong Sang of the To Tatou Aia coalition who won 20 votes.

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira's Edouard Fritch had won 12 votes while Sandra Levy Agami secured one vote.

It is not clear who the Tahoeraa will support in the second round.

Today's presidential election is the third since last year's early general election called by France to increase political stability.

Mr Tong Sang had come to power last April after two assembly members defected to his side just weeks into a five-year assembly term to help him oust the government led by Gaston Flosse.