18 Jan 2010

French Polynesia speaker praised as possible ouster planned

2:25 pm on 18 January 2010

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Tong Sang, has praised the assembly president, Philip Schyle, amid political maneuvers that could see him miss out on re-election to the post this year.

Mr Tong Sang says the assembly president's good work allowed for the 2010 budget to be passed on time.

He says he has promised his coalition partner, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse, the vice-presidency and that position is being held by Edouard Fritch.

There have discussions to arrange for Mr Fritch to replace Mr Schyle which would open up the vice-presidency to Mr Flosse.

The possible permutations have alarmed opposition politicians who claim that Mr Flosse's return to a top executive position would send a bad signal as he is embroiled in a string of judicial affairs.

He has maintained that he did nothing wrong and has appealed all convictions.

The opposition's Oscar Temaru, who lost the presidency less than two months ago, has said he will lodge a no confidence motion this month but it appears uncertain that he can win enough support for it to succeed.