15 Feb 2011

More Tahiti talks in bid to end budget impasse

1:37 pm on 15 February 2011

French Polynesia's small Ia Ora Te Fenua assembly group is to meet the president, Gaston Tong Sang, to discuss the 2011 budget which is to be passed by the end of March.

The meeting is one of several with party leaders and comes amid a prolonged impasse in the assembly which last week prompted Mr Tong Sang to suggest that fresh elections be held as soon as possible.

He told the AFP news agency that if those running the affairs of the territory fail to agree, the people have to decide again.

He has also called for reforms planned by Paris to be accelerated to allow for polls to be held.

Mr Tong Sang's support in the assembly has dwindled to nine out of the 57 members.

If the assembly fails to pass the budget by the end of next month, the French high commission will automatically take over the territory's financial affairs.