4 May 2005

Rifts within French Polynesia's opposition leadership

7:26 pm on 4 May 2005

The secretary-general of French Polynesia's main opposition party has accused Gaston Flosse of manipulating the party rules in a bid to oust him.

Jean-Christophe Bouissou says the Tahoeraa Huiraatira president is trying to go behind his back in Faa'a in a bid to sideline him.

Mr Bouissou, who was a senior minister in the previous government, says the party constitution provides for the local chapters to choose its heads.

Local newspaper reports say the party has denied trying to dislodge Mr Bouissou who resigned in protest at Mr Flosse's refusal to keep his word after the party's election set-back in February.

Mr Flosse had said before the polls that the government would resign if it failed to win a majority.

Mr Bouissou has been trying to reform the party but says this doesn't mean that he is seeking to challenge Mr Flosse for the leadership.