SPEAKER ELECTION NEXT TAHITI HURDLE

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By Patrick Antoine Decloitre

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Oceania Flash, April 7) – The election later this month of a new Speaker for French Polynesia's legislative assembly is regarded as the next major hurdle on the local scene, after a series of developments that have seen long-time ruler Gaston Flosse toppled late February in a motion of no confidence and the election of his successor Oscar Temaru.

The local 57-seat Parliament's top position is perceived as a key issue in French Polynesia's politics, where Temaru's coalition, the Union for Democracy (UPLD), only enjoys a narrow majority ahead of Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira.

Among potential candidates for the post is Hiro Tefaarere, who had told local media he would be for the job, "with or without UPLD's support."

Flosse's Tahoeraa has not yet revealed if it would officially nominate a candidate and if this was the case, who would be chosen.

French Polynesia's legislative assembly was partly renewed mid-February, as part of by-elections that registered a major victory for Temaru's UPLD in the Windward Islands constituency (that includes the main island of Tahiti and neighbouring Moorea), allowing his coalition to topple Flosse and come back to power after a brief four-month stint last year.

April 7, 2005

Oceania Flash: http://newspad-pacific.info/ 

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