13 Dec 2004

French Polynesian occupiers demand statute change to curb Flosse presidency

12:36 pm on 13 December 2004

A group occupying French Polynesia's presidential palace says it won't end its action despite calls by all political leaders to lift the blockades.

The data processing centre is also still occupied, threatening the timely pay of public servants and forcing the customs department to clear goods manually.

One of those backing the occupation is Claude Dauphin, who claims to be the legal vice-president of the Rene Hoffer-led administration formed in October after all other candidates failed to attend the October the 25th election called by the speaker.

Mr Dauphin says he will continue with the occupations despite a Supreme Court ruling in France that legalised the election of President Gaston Flosse on October the 22nd.

He says there cannot be two presidents, adding that he wants France to change the organic law.

"All we want is that Flosse is no longer president, that the statute is change and that all is changed so that the president is no longer in charge but the territorial assembly."

Claude Dauphin says France wants to trick those occupying the palace to get Mr Flosse back into the palace.

He says once the statute is changed, the occupations will end.