13 Nov 2003

French Polynesia may have early elections

4:29 pm on 13 November 2003

The president of the French Polynesian government, Gaston Flosse, has asked young followers of his party to be prepared for a possible early parliamentary election.

Polls are not due until 2006 but Mr Flosse says territorial election for a new assembly could be called next year.

Mr Flosse made the comment in Papeete at the conference of the youth movement of his Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, which was attended by 5-thousand supporters.

He says the opposition keeps calling for the dissolution of the assembly and the French president may act accordingly once a new autonomy statute for French Polynesia has been adopted.

Mr Flosse says the youth meeting is significant as young people aspire to take on responsibility in a territory where half the population is under 25 years of age.

This comes a week after he appointed 28-year-old Teva Rohfritsch as the new tourism minister.