27 Dec 2004

French Polynesian Assembly passes 2005 budget with 20 MPs

4:17 pm on 27 December 2004

The French Polynesia Assembly has voted 17-0 to adopt the government's 2005 budget.

There were three abstentions.

The budget included debts of two billion Us dollars.

The smaller-than-normal parliament of only 20 members voted along strict party lines.

The 17 favorable votes represented the majority led by French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse.

The three abstainers represented the opposition led by interim Speaker, Hiro Tefaarere.

The Finance Minister, Georges Puchon, said the budget was a response to the message received during the last elections.

He said in the past, the government had mainly focused on big construction projects.

This time, he said, the Flosse government is focused more on the social improvements.

A recent French court decision in Paris nullified the results of the May 23 parliamentary elections involving the 37 seats in the electoral district of Tahiti and Moorea.

That left only the remaining 20 out of the normal 57 parliamentarians to vote on the financial plan.

The by-elections are due to be held on Feb. 13.