22 Nov 2004

French Polynesia leaders in Paris for talks on the territory's political crisis

10:41 am on 22 November 2004

French Polynesia's political leaders have flown to Paris for government-sponsored roundtable talks aimed at solving the political crisis in Tahiti.

Last week, the election of 37 of the assembly's 57 members was annulled by the French supreme court and the French government now wants top level talks over the stand-off which began last month when the defection of one MP toppled the Oscar Temaru-led coalition government.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Another Supreme Court ruling in France has backed Gaston Flosse's claim to be the legal president. However, it has failed to restore his former political clout as occupations of key public offices have continued in support of a popular clamour for fresh general elections. Mr Flosse says the occupations must end as he won't sit down at the negotiating table in Paris in two days with what he calls terrorists. Mr Temaru has also called for the offices to be cleared and appealed for calm during his absence. He says the talks will be tough, covering a possible dissolution of the Assembly and a change to the electoral system being sought by minor parties. There is no plan for the talks to involve President Jacques Chirac, who ultimately determines what happens next."