19 Dec 2012

Tahiti opposition gearing up for 2013 territorial polls

4:03 pm on 19 December 2012

French Polynesia's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira says it has struck deals with two minor pro-autonomy parties as it prepares for next year's territorial elections.

Its leader, Gaston Flosse, says, however, that the other main pro-autonomy grouping, led by Gaston Tong Sang, won't be joining the Tahoeraa camp.

After the 2008 election, Mr Tong Sang's coalition was the biggest political force, but amid short-lived coalitions it has been weakened.

Criticising the government's budget, Mr Flosse says sacrifices will have to be made to balance the budget, which he says will take a couple of years.

Speaking to Les Nouvelles de Tahiti, he has refused to say whether this would mean new taxes.

His deputy, Edouard Fritch, is critical of the government's decision of a hiring freeze in the health care sector, describing it as an announced catastrophe which gives an idea of what independence would mean.

Last month, the president, Oscar Temaru, refused to rule out boycotting the elections because his party continues to object to the new electoral system.