30 Oct 2004

Gaston Flosse wants vote in Tahiti electorate only

12:23 pm on 30 October 2004

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, says he wants to have fresh elections in the Society Islands electorate while calling on rival president, Oscar Temaru, to vacate the presidential palace.

In a televised address, Mr Flosse restated that he is the legal president, just hours before Mr Temaru is due back in court accused of usurping the presidency.

Mr Flosse says he hopes his appeal in Paris will annul the May result of the Tahiti electorate to give voters a chance to go back to the ballot box.

If the ruling due in the supreme court in 10 days leaves the result unchanged, he still doesn't want a dissolution of the assembly despite overwhelming public support for it.

Instead, he says, there should be a referendum on independence, but he admits that the question has not been discussed with Paris.

France has in the past ruled out placing French Polynesia on the UN list of territories to be decolonised.