10 Apr 2009

Schyle elected French Polynesia assembly president

11:11 am on 10 April 2009

The French Polynesian assembly has elected the opposition's Philip Schyle as its new assembly president, ending the tenure of Edouard Fritch of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

Mr Schyle won 40 votes to Mr Fritch's 14.

The To Tatou Aia candidate was chosen after the ruling Union For Democracy of Oscar Temaru declined to put forward a candidate as it has been in talks with the opposition to form a new majority.

This came after growing tension between Mr Temaru and the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, who two days ago vowed to take his party into opposition after rejecting calls for him to relinquish his assembly seat.

The opposition leader, Gaston Tong Sang, says a power-sharing agreement has been reached and a new government is expected to be announced next week - the fourth since last year's early general election.

Today's vote to oust Mr Fritch is set to end the cooperation between the Union for Democracy and the Tahoeraa that lasted 21 months.