French Polynesia assembly looks to oust president

16th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PAPEETE, Feb 16 (AFP) - A dozen members of French Polynesia's assembly, including pro-independence party leader Oscar Temaru, have put forward a vote of no confidence in President Gaston Flosse.

PAPEETE, Feb 16 (AFP) - A dozen members of French Polynesia's assembly, including pro-independence party leader Oscar Temaru, have put forward a vote of no confidence in President Gaston Flosse.

In the text of their motion submitted late Tuesday, the signatories "question the responsibility of the president of French Polynesia, Mr. Flosse, and that of the government which he leads.

"The result of the election of 13 February 2005 is final. Mr Flosse can no longer claim an unspecified popular legitimacy and thus must immediately give up the administration of the affairs of the country," said a copy of the motion seen by AFP.

The motion should be discussed Friday and Saturday before being put to a vote.

At least 29 votes in the 57-seat assembly are needed to oust Flosse.

Following Sunday's by-elections in Tahiti and Moorea, Temaru's pro-independence Union for Democracy (UPLD) and Flosse's pro-France camp both hold 27 seats.

Three others are held by the Alliance for a New Democracy (ADN).

Two ADN representatives, Nicole Bouteau and Philip Schyle, have already announced that they "will vote" in favour of the no-confidence motion to topple Flosse if its "motivation" suits them but said they would not join Temaru's camp.

Sunday's by-elections were called after France's state council - the highest administrative court - last year annulled the results of May 2004 elections in Tahiti and Moorea, citing irregularities in some polling stations.

Temaru was elected the first pro-independence president of French Polynesia in May 2004, ousting the veteran Flosse, but was defeated in a subsequent vote of no confidence.

Flosse, 73, a longstanding ally of President Jacques Chirac, has governed French Polynesia for 16 of the past 20 years and has established a well-honed political fiefdom.

Supporters of Temaru and France's opposition Socialists accuse him of being a corrupt Chirac stooge.

The 60-year-old Temaru is mayor of Faaa, the biggest city in French Polynesia.

Lying some 17,000 kilometres (10,500 miles) from France, Polynesia consists of five archipelagos and 118 islands spread over an area the size of Europe. Annexed by France in 1880, the territory lives on tourism, fishing and handouts from Paris.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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