7 Jan 2011

Parties meet ahead of French Polynesia budget talks

4:06 pm on 7 January 2011

French Polynesia's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party is holding a two-day meeting as the assembly's finance commission is to consider the 2011 budget next week.

The party, which is led by Gaston Flosse, says it wants to discuss an action plan to get the territory out of its economic and social misery.

Reports from Papeete say only two of its ministers are at the talks amid calls for a change of leadership.

The party defines itself as an opposition group but several of its members have retained ministerial positions.

Mr Flosse has claimed that 40 out of the assembly's 57 members are opposed to any tax increase, including the Tahoeraa ministers.

The Tahoeraa meeting coincides with a gathering of the opposition pro-independence Union For Democracy in Papeete to discuss proposed budget amendments.

The President Gaston Tong Sang has offered to resign once the budget is passed while also stating that he cannot quit now.