6 Feb 2009

Embattled French Polynesia president questions challengers' legitimacy

12:19 pm on 6 February 2009

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, says the team trying to replace him through a no confidence motion will have no legitimacy.

Mr Tong Sang made the comment to RFO radio after the opposition parties lodged a motion which, if adopted, will make the pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, the new president next week.

Mr Tong Sang says in last year's early general election, voters gave a majority to pro-autonomy politicians which means the territory's leader should be for autonomy.

He says if the pro-autonomy politicians want to have pro-independence advocate at the helm it is their choice.

Mr Tong Sang also says that the two ministers who reportedly resigned yesterday were sacked.

The two belong to the small Rautahi Party which quit the ruling coalition to give the opposition camp 31 members in the 57-strong assembly.