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Without clear majority, opposition says president should step

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Feb. 22, 2011) - The French Polynesia Assembly has voted Saturday a new budget. But French Polynesia president Gaston Tong Sang claims this budget is not the right one.

A majority of 43 Assembly members - out of the 57 Assembly members - voted for this budget after two days of tense negotiations.

But French Polynesia President Gaston Tong Sang claims this budget is really not the right one.

When Tong Sang saw all the changes intended for the budget by the opposition Saturday morning, he decided to leave the Assembly in the afternoon.

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI reports the Opposition in French Polynesia will not dislodge the president, Gaston Tong Sang, despite humiliating him by imposing a budget against his will. They are banking he will automatically resign.]

In an unprecedented move, he claimed the original bill was the right one and that no vote was necessary anymore.

Tong Sang said the French Polynesia statute makes this process possible.

And if the opposition disagrees with this decision, under the French Polynesia statute, they need to present a new budget within five days, Tong Sang said.

This measure, similar to a no-confidence motion, must include the name of a new French Polynesia President.

But the opposition is split between Oscar Temaru's pro-independence Union for Democracy (UPLD) and several pro-autonomy parties, including Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa huiraatira, and has failed so far to choose one candidate.

Concerning the decision on which budget is the right one, the French state council, in Paris, may well have to rule on the matter in the weeks to come.

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