11 Jun 2004

New French Polynesian majority gets one more MP

1:39 pm on 11 June 2004

French Polynesia's majority coalition is welcoming today's defection of a member of Gaston Flosse's party and says more are bound to follow.

Coalition spokesperson, Tea Hirshon, says Jean Alain Frebault was part of the Tahoera Huiraatira party until today when he switched to the coalition.

This boosts its support to 30 assembly members, compared to Mr Flosse's 27, adding to the certainty that Oscar Temaru will replace Mr Flosse on Monday.

Mrs Hirshon says Mr Frebault has not yet explained his move, but she says others are sure to follow suit as Mr Flosse's authority over his party weakens.

"His major problem was to keep his group together because I think many of them will follow Mr Frebault's move this morning. I think more will join the majority and so his numbers will shrink."

Tea Hirshon