9 Feb 2009

French Polynesian call for new electoral system as second government falls in 10 months

4:38 pm on 9 February 2009

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Tong Sang, who resigned over the weekend, has written to Paris asking President Nicolas Sarkozy for the territory to be given a new electoral system to increase political stability.

The system has been changed three times in five years but since last year's early general election, there have already been two governments.

Mr Tong Sang's letter makes no mention of an election before 2013.

Mr Tong Sang was to face a no confidence vote this week which, if successful, would make Oscar Temaru the new president.

But following his resignation, the junior French minister in charge of overseas territories, Yves Jego, says the assembly in Tahiti should abandon that process and instead proceed to elect a new president within two weeks.

The opposition says it will meet tomorrow to sign up for its new so-called government programme.

It plans to convene the assembly two days later to make Mr Temaru president.