21 Sep 2009

Hirshon on loan to other French Polynesian group

9:03 am on 21 September 2009

A pro-independence assembly member in French Polynesia, Tea Hirshon, has joined a pro-autonomy group within the assembly in a bid to shore up the ruling coalition.

Ms Hirshon has sided with the Ia Ora te Fenua group after one of its members Joelle Frebault quit it, leaving it one member short to be able to retain its status.

The switch is seen as temporary loan from President Oscar Temaru's side and helps the coalition maintain its majority which was formed in April when he presented the territory's fourth government since last year's early general election.

Ms Frebault's move involves joining other so-called outer island assembly members who in turn now have the numbers to form a new group in the assembly.

Those members have left the two main blocs in the assembly which has had no effect on their institutional standing.