15 Jun 2005

French Polynesian speaker loses civil case against French high commissioner

12:49 pm on 15 June 2005

The speaker of the French Polynesian assembly, Antony Geros, has lost another case brought against the French high commissioner in connection with last October's vote of no-confidence.

The news agency Tahitipresse says a Paris court dismissed the civil case by Mr Geros who challenged the high commissioner's decision to allow a deputy speaker to convene the assembly after the government led by Oscar Temaru had been removed in a vote of no confidence.

The high commissioner agreed with the opposition that Mr Geros had chosen an election for a new president that was at least a day too late for it to comply with the law.

The election went ahead and saw Gaston Flosse chosen in a sitting boycotted by Mr Geros and all MPs who weren't members of Mr Flosse' party.

Mr Flosse presented himself three days later as a candidate for the presidential election called by Mr Geros.

However, the dispute over the date led to the assembly not being opened by any of the speakers, leaving the territory in turmoil, with three men claiming to be president.