15 Apr 2005

French Polynesian assembly elects Geros as speaker

3:43 pm on 15 April 2005

The French Polynesian assembly has elected Antony Geros of the Union For Democracy as speaker.

He was chosen in a second round of voting after falling one vote short of a majority in the first round.

In the run-off ballot he defeated the candidate of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira, Lana Tetuanui.

The interim speaker, Hiro Tefaarere also of the Union For Democracy, defied the party and stood as a candidate but only attracted his own vote.

Two of the 57 members cast a blank vote.

A member of the Union For Democracy, Sabrina Birk, says the election process was peculiar.

"There was no transparency when they were taking the papers out of the envelopes. And this is where we really wonder, and especially after we insisted and insisted for transparency for TV to be able to film the taking out. It was refused."

Mr Geros was the speaker until November when he lost his seat along with 36 other members after the French supreme court annulled last May's result of the Tahiti and Moorea electorate.

At the start of the debate, President Oscar Temaru announced that he would meet the French government in Paris on May the 4th.

He was elected in early March and his planned visit to France has been postponed twice.