17 Apr 2008

Temaru offers resignation as French Polynesia's assembly president

3:46 pm on 17 April 2008

The president of the French Polynesian assembly, Oscar Temaru, has offered to resign following the opposition's success in ousting the government in a no-confidence vote this week.

Mr Temaru says his supporters have urged him to keep the position to which he was elected in February after his predecessor, Edouard Fritch, resigned two days into his five-year term.

Mr Temaru's Union For Democracy formed an alliance in the assembly with the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party of Gaston Flosse, but the defection of two members meant the fall of the government and the installation of the To Tatou Aia leader, Gaston Tong Sang, as new president.

Mr Tong Sang, who has a slim majority, has five days to form a 15-member government to replace the administration of Mr Flosse who was voted out just seven weeks after it was elected for a five-year term.

The size of the government has been put down in a new statute which France adopted in December, but in a departure from previous convention has not been published in the relevant official journal in French Polynesia.