4 Apr 2011

Talks begin on new government in French Polynesia after President's ousting

5:31 am on 4 April 2011

The new majority in French Polynesia's assembly has begun talks on the make-up of the next government after ousting the 15-month old government of Gaston Tong Sang in a no-confidence vote.

29 out of 57 assembly members, including so-called outer island members, voted for the motion which has made the pro-independence politician, Oscar Temaru, the president of the territory's government for the fifth time in seven years.

The new government has to be announced by Friday.

Paris has reacted to the change of leadership by saying it has taken note and is seeking a constructive partnership to deal with the territory's severe economic crisis.

In its bid to increase political stability in the territory in the lead-up to the 2013 election, France plans to change French Polynesia's electoral system for a fourth time since 2004.

The latest proposal has been rejected by Mr Temaru's party but has the conditional suppport of Mr Tong Sang, who is the ruling French UMP's key ally in French Polynesia.

The last change to Tahiti's electoral system was approved by the French legislature although three quarters of the members of the assembly in French Polynesia voted against it.