1 Apr 2005

GIP blocks French Polynesia's main port for second time in one week

6:50 am on 1 April 2005

Several hundred members of French Polynesia's presidential intervention force, the GIP, have again imposed a blockade on the port of Papeete in a new stand-off with the government.

The GIP group says President Oscar Temaru has failed to honour the agreement signed at Easter to end the last blockade when Mr Temaru gave in to drop the new GIP boss, Robert Maker.

The government yesterday made Marcel Ahini the interim head of the GIP, when the accord stipulated that he should be made only interim administrator.

The GIP now says it wants Yannick Boosie to be made its boss.

All access to the port is closed, creating yet another run on petrol in Tahiti.

The government has condemned the latest action, saying that the wording of Mr Ahini's title was dictated by laws governing public service establishments.

It also says the GIP is involved in a power struggle with the legitimately elected government.