9 Apr 2008

New French Polynesian assembly group set to broaden opposition

1:45 pm on 9 April 2008

A new group has been formed among French Polynesia's opposition assembly members amid suggestions it could be the precursor to a bid to oust the government put in place two months ago.

Six members of the To Tatou Aia group have now left to form the group Te Mana o te mau which brings together so-called outer island politicians.

It is being led by Teina Maraeura who says he planned to set up the group after last month's municipal elections.

Mr Maraeura says the group's purpose is to advance the concerns of the outer islands.

The group may be joined by Michel Yip of the ruling coalition.

He represents voters in the Tuamotu group who he says are in favour of joining Te Mana o te mau.

A defection would weaken the government of Gaston Flosse but under the new law any no confidence motion would have to be accompanied by the nomination of a successor president.