12 Apr 2006

French court ruling changes numbers for French Polynesia vote on new assembly president

9:38 am on 12 April 2006

The French supreme court has ruled that there has been an unreasonable delay by the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, to acknowledge a minister's resignation.

Hiro Tefaarere resigned last month after just six months in government but Mr Temaru refused to sign the papers necessary for Mr Tefaarere to return to his assembly seat.

Mr Tefaarere has since also resigned from Mr Temaru's pro-independence party and is now expected to be in the assembly the day after tomorrow when it will choose a new assembly president.

Mr Tefaarere's return means that the MP who had replaced him while he was in government will be forced to leave the assembly.

It also means that the ruling Union For Democracy is now uncertain of having the numbers to elect its candidate in the election of an assembly president.

All parties opposed to Mr Temaru have been in discussions to see if they can bring about a change which, if successful, could lead to the formation of a fifth government in less that two years.