17 Feb 2005

Pressure mounts on French Polynesian president Flosse to quit

7:28 am on 17 February 2005

Pressure is mounting on the French Polynesian president Gaston Flosse to step down following his by-election setback in Tahiti.

The Union for Democracy has lodged a motion of no confidence in Mr Flosse which will be heard in two days.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Before the election, Mr Flosse said he would step down if his Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party failed to get a majority. But Mr Flosse is refusing to quit, saying most assembly members, including some calling for his resignation, are for his policy of autonomy and not for independence. Earlier, his spokesman had said he was still waiting for results to be made official. Although the two members of the Alliance for a New Democracy won't side with any of the big parties, they say they will vote for the motion if Mr Flosse refuses to go. In Papeete, I'm Walter Zweifel."