28 Feb 2011

Legality of French Polynesia budget to be tested

7:12 am on 28 February 2011

The French high commissioner in Tahiti says he will ask a court this week to rule on the legality of the budget passed by the French Polynesian assembly.

This comes amid a bitter dispute between the assembly's opposition, which has a large majority, and the President Gaston Tong Sang.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The French high commissioner, Richard Didier, has issued a statement, saying the Nouvelles de Tahiti was hasty in interpreting his earlier comment about the budget. He says while there can only be one budget, the courts will have to determine whether the assembly can pass a budget that is different from the one presented by the president. Last week, Mr Tong Sang, whose support has shrunk to nine members in the 57-strong assembly, challenged the opposition to lodge a motion of no confidence. The opposition side has suggested he resign amid apparent disagreement on who would be the next President. Mr Tong Sang says he won't quit."