18 Nov 2004

Ex-speaker in French Polynesia questions Paris crisis meeting

7:14 am on 18 November 2004

The ousted speaker of the French Polynesian assembly says questions surround the French call for top-level talks in Paris to resolve the Tahitian political crisis.

Antony Geros says the French high commission has officially relieved 37 MPs of their duties, after the highest French court annulled the general election result in their Tahiti-Moorea electorate, owing to serious irregularities.

Mr Geros says most of the leaders invited to Tuesday's meeting in Paris have now lost their status as MPs - among them Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru.

Mr Temaru indicated that he would attend the meeting while Mr Flosse's party said there was no point in holding talks on a way forward as long as occupations of public buildings in Papeete continued.

With Mr Geros losing his seat, his deputy, Hiro Tefaarere, has now become the speaker, as he is one of the 20 MPs in the 57-member assembly, who were voted in, outside the Tahiti-Moorea electorate.

Mr Tefaarere says he will convene the assembly when the time is right.

He also says he wants to persuade the French government to dissolve the entire assembly to hold fresh elections.