16 Feb 2006

French Polynesia coalition to review US$1.3bn budget

9:29 am on 16 February 2006

The ruling coalition in French Polynesia is set to review its US$1.3 billion after local auditors rejected it as unbalanced.

The French High Commissioner in Tahiti, Anne Boquet, referred the 2006 budget to the audit body last month, saying it was part of her job to ensure checks on provincial government spending.

The Union for Democracy, led by president Oscar Temaru, pushed through a budget of higher spending and tax reforms as part of its policy to make the territory more financially independent from France.

The news agency Tahitipresse reports the coalition is set to call a new parliamentary session for a revised bill, but support for any new measure is not assured.

The resignation last week of the Marquesas Islands representative, Jean-Alain Frebault, appears to give the ruling coalition only 28 out of the 57 votes.

The high commissioner Anne Boquet, could move to repeal the budget altogether, but the UPLD would be able to contest this in a local court.