Main French Polynesia port blocked by task force

25th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PAPEETE, March 24 (AFP) - Members of a presidential task force blocked the bridge between French Polynesia's capital Papeete and its main port Thursday to protest the new government's replacement of its leader.

PAPEETE, March 24 (AFP) - Members of a presidential task force blocked the bridge between French Polynesia's capital Papeete and its main port Thursday to protest the new government's replacement of its leader.

Members of the Polynesia Intervention Group blocked the bridge with vehicles, stopping all traffic and only allowing pedestrian access.

They said they were angry that the new government of President Oscar Temaru had sacked their former director, Rere Puputauku, and replaced him with a previous director, Robert Maker.

The group was created about a decade ago by former president Gaston Flosse, who was ousted in February after losing a no-confidence vote, to carry out public work on presidential orders, including assisting in relief and rescue operations. It has about 1,000 members.

The territory's vice president, Jacqui Drollet, said the group had taken on its own power, becoming a "sort of militia".

Flosse's Tahoeraa party has denied allegations that it was behind the blockade of the bridge.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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