8 Nov 2004

Temaru camp says French High Commissioner to French Polynesia should go if new elections ordered.

4:34 pm on 8 November 2004

One of French Polynesia's two rival presidents, Oscar Temaru, has named the Frenchman he says should control the territory if its Parliament is dissolved.

The territory is locked in a political stalemate ahead of an eagerly awaited court decision tomorrow on whether fresh elections should be held on Tahiti and Moorea.

But, Mr Temaru, who was ousted by his rival, Gaston Flosse, last month, continues to press France for fresh elections throughout the territory.

Mr Temaru says if the French President, Jacques Chirac, agrees to fresh territory-wide elections, a former High Commissioner, Jean Aribaud, should control the territory between dissolution of the assembly and the elections.

Mr Temaru's spokesman, Claude Marere, says Mr Aribaud, not the present High Commissioner, is the best choice for such a role, because he speaks Tahitian.

"The journalists asked Mr Temaru why Mr Aribaud and Mr Temaru answered because he is the first high commissioner, the first man from the French State, who has learned the Tahitian language."

Mr Temaru's spokesman, Claude Marere.