30 Mar 2005

French Polynesia President to meet GIP today

10:21 am on 30 March 2005

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, is today due to meet the presidential intervention group, the GIP, following a weekend accord to end their rebellion.

This comes after Mr Temaru failed to impose his authority on the GIP which forced him to drop Robert Maker as the new head of the GIP just three weeks after his appointment.

Mr Maker could never get into the GIP headquarters and last week, Mr Temaru vowed not to give into blackmail and to retain Mr Maker.

In response, the GIP blocked access to the port, leaving Tahiti petrol stations without fuel and forcing the government to back down.

The deal to end the rebellion also gives the GIP a pay rise and, for the time being, confirms the hiring of the additional 400 members by the former president, Gaston Flosse.

It is not clear if Mr Temaru will still press ahead with legal action against the former GIP leaders as outlined last week.

The GIP was set up as a disaster relief team in the 1990's but has also run an intelligence unit which has been accused of being implicated in the disappearance of a local journalist.