7 Mar 2005

French Polynesia's president visits occupied premises

4:15 pm on 7 March 2005

French Polynesia's president, Oscar Temaru, has visited the occupied presidential palace and says he expects the premises to be cleared soon.

The palace and the passport office in Papeete have been occupied since October when the Temaru-led government was ousted in a no confidence vote and replaced by the administration led by Gaston Flosse.

Mr Temaru and MPs backing his coalition ended the occupation following a court order in November but other anti-Flosse activists stayed.

The Tahitipresse news agency says some of those occupying the palace want money to leave.

The French high commission has said those involved in the occupation will be held to account and fined for each day of their action.

Mr Temaru's visit to the premises comes a day ahead of the planned presentation of his government - the fourth in French Polynesia in less than nine months.