20 Oct 2004

Court clears way for fresh French Polynesian presidential elections

8:03 am on 20 October 2004

France's highest court has ruled that this morning's meeting of the French Polynesian territorial assembly is legal.

The meeting was called last week by the assembly's third vice-president, Lana Tetuanui, to choose a new president after the assembly passed a no confidence motion which ousted the government led by Oscar Temaru ten days ago.

The assembly president, Antony Geros, claimed that she usurped his power because the 29 MPs who wanted to hold a sitting today made the decision after he had closed the session.

But the court in Paris has rejected this.

The French Polynesian assembly is now due to meet to choose a new president, with both Mr Temaru and veteran leader Gaston Flosse standing as candidates.

If there are fewer than 35 MPs present in the 57-member assembly, the presidential election will be deferred by three days when only a simple majority is needed for a valid result.