2 Oct 2009

French Polynesia's majority crumbles

11:23 am on 2 October 2009

The ruling majority in French Polynesia appears to have split into three camps, with one of them joining the opposition.

Radio reports say the ToTatou Aia leader, Gaston Tong Sang, will no longer take part in meetings of the so-called majority which has been in power for less than half a year and is being led by Oscar Temaru.

This follows a decision of the small assembly group, made up of the outer island MPs, to switch to the opposition.

Last week, the six members threatened to do so because they are opposed to a government decision to give a ferry licence to a foreign company for a service between Tahiti and the Leeward islands.

They say the new ferry will undermine existing shipping services and imperil the viability of some Air Tahiti routes.

Despite the fissures, there is no talk of a no-confidence motion.

For one to be lodged, it has to name who is to be the next president.