25 Mar 2004

French Polynesia opposition parties form coalition to fight impending election

4:11 pm on 25 March 2004

The president of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse, says he has asked the French president, Jacques Chirac, to approve the dissolution of the Territory's parliament and the holding of new elections.

He says the dissolution is being prompted by the new autonomy statute but also by the behaviour of the opposition which he says has already begun campaigning.

An opposition Green MP, Loic Brigato, says the pro-independence party has signed an agreement with the other opposition parties to form a union to defeat Mr Flosse.

"It is just arithmetical. If there is no union, Mr Flosse will be in power for another twenty years. When you take the last results for the opposition, when you add all of those results, we have the majority."

An opposition Green MP, Louic Brigato.

No date has been set for the poll - and the opposition says the delay in naming a date is a manoeuvre by the president to stop them preparing properly for the elections.