1 Dec 2004

French Polynesia's Flosse accuses Temaru of not keeping his word

9:47 am on 1 December 2004

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, says the words of his political rival, Oscar Temaru, have no value as the agreement to vacate the presidential complex was not followed.

Mr Flosse abandoned roundtable talks in Paris on the political crisis facing Tahiti after the crowd occupying the premises refused to heed a call by Mr Temaru to leave.

MPs supporing Mr Temaru left the palace as agreed but anti-Flosse groups decided to re-occupy public buildings in the Papeete area after the talks collapse.

On return to Papeete, Mr Flosse said the presidency is secondary as it is more important to get 800 people prevented from doing their job to be able to return to work.

Mr Temaru has blamed Mr Flosse and the French overseas territories minister, Brigitte Girardin, for the break-down of the Paris talks.

She in turn has called on Mr Temaru to make sure that the agreements are kept and the palace is vacated.

She has ruled out using police force to clear the premises despite several court rulings confirming Mr Flosse's claim to be the legally elected president.