25 Mar 2011

French Polynesia president faces no confidence motion

10:17 pm on 25 March 2011

French Polynesia's pro-independence opposition Union For Democracy has lodged a no confidence motion in an attempt to oust the 15-month old government of Gaston Tong Sang.

Tahitipresse says the motion, which is expected to be voted on in a week, names Oscar Temaru as the proposed new president.

The motion cites as reasons for the challenge the territory's economic crisis, the dispute over the 2011 budget and the latest charges against Mr Tong Sang.

He has this week been accused of favouritism in awarding a telecommunications contract after having earlier been charged over a controversial atoll sale in 2002.

Media reports say Mr Temaru's party is being backed by a group of outer island assembly members, with a Tahiti politician, Heifara Izal, giving it the minimum 29 votes needed for a majority.

Mr Tong Sang has the support of only nine of the assembly's 57 members.