27 Feb 2008

French minister won't interfere in Tahiti election campaign

12:01 pm on 27 February 2008

The French minister in charge of overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, says he will not express himself about French Polynesian politics until after the second round of the municipal elections on March the 16th.

This follows criticism of his support for the To Tatou Aia coalition in the recent territorial election.

The leader of the Union For Democracy, Oscar Temaru, took unsuccessful legal action against Mr Estrosi for allegedly trying to interfere with the campaign to elect a new territorial assembly.

Mr Estrosi now says for the time being he won't intervene in the political debate in French Polynesia.

Asked about his planned visit to Tahiti in two months, he told a radio station that he was determined to be with the Polynesians he loved and who were his brothers.

Mr Estrosi's UMP Party is reported to be set to expel the newly elected French Polynesian President Gaston Flosse from its ranks and endorse To Tatou Aia in the municipal elections.