13 Dec 2004

More political positioning ahead of French Polynesian polls in February

12:58 pm on 13 December 2004

French Polynesia's ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has lost another key member ahead of a planned by-election in February.

Beatrice Vernaudon, who is also a member of the French parliament, has told local radio that she won't be standing in the poll.

This comes as a former sports minister, Reynald Temarii, is about to launch his own political party, Porinetia Ora, after quitting the Tahoeraa earlier this month.

Meanwhile, there is no end in sight to some of the occupations of key buildings in Papeete.

The leader of the occupations over the last weeks, Gaston Tetuanui, has abandoned all blockades but they continue at the data processing centre and the presidential palace.

One of the backers is Claude Dauphin, who is the vice-president of administration which was self-proclaimed after the October the 25th election.

Mr Dauphin says the occupation will only end once France has changed the autonomy statute to give the assembly supremacy over the presidency.