8 May 2008

French Polynesia's assembly president justifies why he refused to open assembly

10:45 am on 8 May 2008

The party of French Polynesia's assembly president, Oscar Temaru, has justified his refusal to open yesterday's assembly sitting.

The Union For Democracy says the government called the sitting last month and it's not up to the opposition to ensure that the government can muster a majority.

Mr Temaru's refusal to officiate has meant that the assembly was a member short of a quorum because one government member is on a visit to New Caledonia.

He has now called for the assembly to sit in two weeks.

A leading government assembly member has denounced Mr Temaru's action as puerile and an attempt to stop the normal workings of the assembly.

He says the government has no option but to call on the French high commissioner, Anne Boquet, to use her new powers which allow her to open the assembly in Mr Temaru's absence.