14 Apr 2006

Newly elected French Polynesian assembly president says he wants stability

4:21 pm on 14 April 2006

The new president of the French Polynesian assembly, Philip Schyle, says he wants to bring stability to the running of the territory.

In his speech, he rejected recent opposition manoeuvres to bring down the government formed last year and also criticised the government's push for independence against the wishes of the majority of the representatives.

Mr Schyle, who heads the small centrist Fetia Api Party, says he has no score to settle with anyone and feels free not to have to favour anyone.

Mr Schyle was elected in the first round of voting, winning one more vote than the ruling coalition's Antony Geros.

The opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira nominated Gaston Tong Sang as its candidate but no-one voted for him.

Today's election comes amid an upheaval within the Aia Api Party whose leader, Emile Vernaudon, resigned from the government to align itself with the Tahoeraa while its other ministers have stayed in government.