7 Sep 2010

Tong Sang advocates boost for French Polynesia president position

2:01 pm on 7 September 2010

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Tong Sang, says political stability will only be restored if the position of the president is strengthened.

Mr Tong Sang made the comment in Paris after talks with the French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, who is this week receiving leaders from Tahiti to discuss the fourth electoral reform in six years to restore political stability.

He has called for a system that will stop any assembly meeting being able to dislodge the head of the local government through a motion of no-confidence.

Mr Tong Sang has suggested either a direct election of the president or a mechanism that will make the head of the biggest party the president for an entire term.

Mr Tong Sang came to power last in 2008 when his supporters voted out the Gaston Flosse-led coalition a month into its five-year term.

The French legislature last reformed French Polynesia's electoral system in 2007 under urgency although in a consultative vote, an overwhelming majority in French Polynesia's assembly rejected the proposal put to it by Paris.