1 Feb 2009

French Polynesian political deal set to unseat Tong Sang government

9:05 pm on 1 February 2009

French Polynesia's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party will meet mid-week to decide whether to approve a deal for a no confidence motion to oust the government of Gaston Tong Sang.

This comes after a week of negotiations among party leaders, including Mr Tong Sang, aimed at exploring options of forming an assembly majority to end the political deadlock of recent weeks.

Oscar Temaru, who is the leader of the main opposition group, is the reported candidate for president under the arrangement struck with the Tahoeraa's Gaston Flosse and Jean-Christophe Bouissou's Rautahi Party which has now quit Mr Tong Sang's To Tatou Aia coalition.

The three are expected to have the support of 31 of the assembly's 57 members, but Mr Flosse says he will need to consult the party base this week before moving forward.

Under the system introduced by France in 2007, a no confidence motion in Tahiti must give the name of the proposed new president before it can be deposited.

Should the Tahoeraa approve the planned motion and the assembly pass it, it would give French Polynesia its fourth government in a year.