29 Nov 2004

Talks aimed at resolving the French Polynesian political impasse have collapsed

9:43 pm on 29 November 2004

The talks in Paris aimed at ending the political crisis in French Polynesia have collapsed.

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, has announced that he'll return to Papeete as demands for an end to occupations of public buildings in the territory have been ignored.

This comes just hours before negotiations were due to resume with the French minister in charge of overseas territories, who in turn was to hold more talks with Oscar Temaru of the rival camp.

Mr Flosse spoke as an activist leader pushing for the dissolution of the French Polynesian assembly said he would resume the occupations of public buildings.

Gaston Tetuanui has defied a court order and calls by political leaders to leave the occupied buildings, such as the presidential palace.

The Paris talks resolved to have early elections but Mr Tetuanui says the people cannot accept Mr Flosse's proposal to hold them in 2006.

Mr Temaru wants the polls as soon as possible.

While members of the ousted Temaru coalition government have vacated the presidential palace, Mr Tetuanui says occupations by his supporters will spread and continue until the assembly is dissolved - a move opposed by the French government.