16 Feb 2011

Hopes in French Polynesia 2011 budget can be passed

6:27 am on 16 February 2011

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Tong Sang, has had separate meetings with party leaders as he struggles with the 2011 budget which is to be passed by the end of March.

A new proposal is expected to be presented to the assembly tomorrow in the hope the long impasse can be broken.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Mr Tong Sang says he has made adjustments to his budget to take into account the reluctance by his political rivals to set higher levies. For months he has been locked in inconclusive negotiations and only last week the deadlock prompted him to suggest that fresh elections be held as soon as possible. He said that if those running the affairs of the territory fail to agree, the people have to decide again. 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."