28 Feb 2005

French Polynesia's caretaker president annoys French officials

11:12 am on 28 February 2005

The caretaker president of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse, has

acknowledged that he may have annoyed French officials by inaugurating a square

in Papeete which is named after President Jacques Chirac.

Under French rules, a street or square can only be named after a person

once the individual has been dead for five years.

Mr Flosse proceeded to open the waterfront square which includes

underground parking for 280 vehicles.

The site was completed at a cost of 17 million US dollars before the

Tahiti by-election two weeks ago but its inauguration has come just days

before Mr Flosse is compelled to abandon the presidency.

His government lost a no-confidence vote last week and fresh

presidential elections will be held tomorrow if at least 35 of

the assembly's 57 members are present.

Mr Flosse won't be a candidate - his Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has

nominated Gaston Tong Sang to stand against the Union For Democracy's Oscar

Temaru.