OPPOSITION LAWMAKERS GAIN STRENGTH IN TAHITI

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Temaru claims president without majority

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, May 4, 2010) - Oscar Temaru's political group criticized Monday the pro-autonomy coalition led by French Polynesia President Gaston Tong Sang claiming this coalition does not have a majority anymore.

An important tax exemption bill for fast ferries was voted last week thanks to the opposition.

This shows that the pro-autonomy majority coalition is not as strong as it pretends to be, Temaru's party claims.

Furthermore, Temaru's political group announced that it will revive its former name, UPLD (Union for democracy).

The name UDSP (Union for Development, Stability and Peace) will not be used anymore.

This name was mainly used during the alliance with Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa huiraatira party in 2008 and 2009.

Political observers suggest this is yet another sign that a new Temaru-Flosse alliance to topple the Tong Sang government is now unlikely.

The new UPLD political group at the French Polynesian Assembly will be led by former Tourism minister, Jacqui Drollet.

Temaru's party also criticized Tong Sang's recent trip to China to attend the Shanghai World Expo opening.

The fact that Tong Sang was seen with French President Nicolas Sarkozy during the event will not help Tahiti's economy at all, Temaru's party claims.

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