8 Sep 2007

French Polynesian politicians ask Pacific royals to stay away

10:01 am on 8 September 2007

The leaders of French Polynesia's two biggest political parties have jointly sent a letter to Polynesian royal families, including the new Maori king in New Zealand, asking them to defer a planned visit to Raiatea because of the territory's political crisis.

The gathering next week was to bring together royal families from the region, including Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa and Rapa Nui.

But in what they describe as a diplomatic note, Oscar Temaru and Gaston Flosse, have called on the foreign guests to stay away because of the political situation.

A presidential election is to be held in four days to replace Gaston Tong Sang who lost a no confidence vote last week.

He will be a candidate as will be Mr Temaru and Mr Flosse's son-in-law, Edouard Fritch.

Mr Tong Sang has called for a public rally this weekend against the moves that destabilised and removed his government.