25 Oct 2004

Still unclear whether French Polynesian MPs will be able to elect a new President tomorrow

8:41 pm on 25 October 2004

It remains uncertain whether the French Polynesian Assembly will be able to elect a President tomorrow.

The election comes after a vote of no confidence ousted the Government of Oscar Temaru.

The Speaker called the session two weeks ago but if there are fewer than 35 of the 57 members present the election will be deferred by 3 days.

Radio New Zealand International's news editor, Walter Zweifel, is in Papeete.

"while the Temaru camp has signalled it will stay away, the Vice President, Jacqui Drollet, indicated in a television interview a short time ago that he would be present. 17 candidates are standing including Gaston Flosse, who says he is again the lawfully elected President after a majority of MPs elected him two days in a sitting the Speaker declared illegal. Mr Drollet has called for calm and again called on the French President, Jacques Chirac, to dissolve the Assembly so that a general election can be held. France has said no and Mr Flosse has agreed, proposing instead to have a referendum on independence"