13 Feb 2009

Fritch becomes Speaker in French Polynesia

2:30 pm on 13 February 2009

French Polynesia's politicians have chosen Edouard Fritch as the new Speaker of the House, following the election of pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru as President.

Oceania Flash reports that Mr Fritch, who is the co-President of the pro-French Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, got the support of 38 of the 57 MPs.

He replaces Mr Temaru, who was the Speaker until his election to the top post on Thursday.

Mr Fritch's election is part of the new coalition agreement that brought Mr Temaru to power this week.

The coalition consists of Mr Temaru's Union for Democracy, former President Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira and Jean-Christophe Bouissou's Rautahi party.

Mr Fritch has been Speaker of the House on several occasions - most recently last year, under a brief Gaston Flosse led government that was ousted in a motion of no confidence after less than two months in power.