12 Mar 2005

French Polynesia president barred from intervention group headquarters

9:47 am on 12 March 2005

Members of French Polynesia's presidential intervention group, the GIP, have stopped the president, Oscar Temaru, and the new head of the group, Robert Maker, from entering the group's headquarters in Papeete.

The news agency Tahitipresse reports a section of the GIP staff are contesting the recent appointment of Mr Maker to the agency.

Mr Temaru says he sees the hand of the former president Gaston Flosse, behind the protest.

Mr Maker said earlier this week he expected the core of the force to obey the instructions of the new government.

Robert Maker says a couple dozen people have become what he describes as Gaston Flosse's private police, whilst the GIP had originally been formed to help with disaster relief.