21 Dec 2006

French Polynesian presidential vote to be deferred with Temaru camp boycotting

7:44 pm on 21 December 2006

A vote scheduled for tomorrow in French Polynesia to choose a new president for the territory has been deferred until the day after Christmas.

The planned vote comes after 29 members last week approved a motion to oust the government led by Oscar Temaru.

But Mr Temaru's Union For Democracy is to boycott tomorrow's meeting, a move which will deny the assembly of the required quorum of 35 members.

The two candidates in the election are Mr Temaru and Gaston Tong Sang of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

Neither is assured of a majority as four outer island members keep switching side while saying they will vote as bloc.

Last week, the government fell when two of the outer island MPs joined the opposition to vote out the government, just days after they voted for its 2007 budget.