31 May 2004

French Polynesia's independence off agenda

1:51 pm on 31 May 2004

The leader of French Polynesia's opposition coalition, Oscar Temaru, says his party's demand for independence has been put aside in a bid to form a government to replace the administration led by Gaston Flosse.

Mr Temaru says discussions on a common platform are underway with the pro-autonomy parties, Fetia Api and No Oe e Te Nunaa, since last Monday's general election in which Mr Flosse lost his majority.

Mr Temaru says when the new parliament meets next week to choose a president, he will be a candidate.

Mr Temaru also says he would change the autonomy celebration of June 29th - an event created by Mr Flosse - to mark the day in 1880 France annexed the territory.

The matter is also before France's highest court because the heir to the Tahitian royal title, Tauatomo Mairau, the Prince Royal of Tahaa, claims France broke its side of the 1880 treaty by granting Mr Flosse an autonomy statute.

Gaston Flosse has said he plans to have the French state declare the elections invalid because of breaches of confidentiality in the Tahiti and Moorea electorate