12 Feb 2009

Oscar Temaru elected French Polynesia's president for fourth time in five years

4:25 pm on 12 February 2009

French Polynesia's assembly has elected Oscar Temaru as the next president following last weekend's resignation of Gaston Tong Sang.

In the second round of voting, Mr Temaru won 37 votes, 17 more than Mr Tong Sang.

He was elected with the support of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira, whose candidate, Edouard Fritch had withdrawn from the race after this morning's first round of voting.

Mr Fritch had won 12 votes while Sandra Levy Agami secured one vote.

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

Mr Temaru has now become president for the fourth time in less than five years.

Last April, Mr Tong Sang had come to power 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.