7 Apr 2004

French Polynesian opposition groups close to forming anti-Flosse coalition

3:40 pm on 7 April 2004

A founder of French Polynesian's main opposition Tavini Huiraatira party says she expects opposition parties to finalise a coalition deal within days.

Eight opposition parties, led by Tavini, plan to join forces in an unprecedented opposition coalition to contest elections in French Polynesia on May the 23rd.

Tea Hirschon, a founder of Tavini, says the main sticking point among opposition parties is proposed reinscription of French Polynesia on the United Nations' decolonisation list.

But Mrs Hirschon says all the parties involved understand the importance of joining forces if they are to have any hope of unseating the President, Gaston Flosse.

"All agree with the necessity that we need to run together if we hope to put an end to Gaston Flosse. That's the only way. No party today can go by itself and prevent Flosse from winning."

Tea Hirschon says she believes a formal deal will be forged this weekend, prior to the close of candidate registration on Thursday next week.

She adds time is short to devise a coalition election platform, but the main platform of a coalition would be unity against Mr Flosse.