10 Aug 2007

French Polynesia's Tahoeraa fails in reconciliation bid

10:54 am on 10 August 2007

The ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in French Polynesia has failed to overcome the discord among its key politicians as the territory is set to head for early elections.

The President, Gaston Tong Sang, and the party leader and former president, Gaston Flosse, have held a second meeting during which Mr Flosse failed to persuade the head of the government to meet his demands on the redistribution of portfolios within the governing coalition.

Last month, the party decided that four ministers resign and it also announced that it would no longer be part of the majority.

The move came as Mr Flosse has been in talks with his political rival Oscar Temaru about a possible roadmap to an independence referndum in 20 years.

Mr Temaru's Union For Domcracy has meanwhile kept calling for fresh elections as the Tahoeraa appears unable to reconcile.

The French government plans to reform French Polynesia's electoral system for a third time in three years next month amid reports that it will bring forward the 2009 elections.