COURT TO DETERMINE VALIDITY OF TAHITI BUDGET

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Authority of Assembly to pass own budget in question

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 27, 2011) – The French high commissioner in Tahiti says he will ask a court this week to rule on the legality of the budget passed by the French Polynesian assembly.

This comes amid a bitter dispute between the assembly’s opposition, which has a large majority, and the President Gaston Tong Sang.

The French high commissioner, Richard Didier, has issued a statement saying the Nouvelles de Tahiti was hasty in interpreting his earlier comment about the budget. He says while there can only be one budget, the courts will have to determine whether the assembly can pass a budget that is different from the one presented by the president.

Last week, Mr Tong Sang, whose support has shrunk to nine members in the 57-strong assembly, challenged the opposition to lodge a motion of no confidence. The opposition side has suggested he resign amid apparent disagreement on who would be the next President.

Mr Tong Sang says he won’t quit."

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