11 Feb 2005

French Polynesia's Flosse ponders possible election defeat

3:13 pm on 11 February 2005

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, has announced that he will resign on Monday if his Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party fails to win this weekend's by-election.

Voters will choose 37 new MPs in a by-election for Tahiti and Moorea under a preferential electoral system which will give the winning list a third of all seats as a bonus.

If the Tahoeraa comes first it will have a solid majority in the assembly but should it come second, the party is unlikely to be able to rule without a coalition partner.

Mr Flosse has told a local radio that in the event of an election defeat he would step down as president.

He was re-elected in October after his party ousted Oscar Temaru in a no-confidence vote.