16 Apr 2004

Opposition parties in French Polynesia submit joint list for May elections

4:38 pm on 16 April 2004

Opposition parties in French Polynesia have succeeded in forming a coalition to fight upcoming provincial elections, even though only four groups have joined.

Three minor opposition parties and a union have formed a coalition with the main opposition Tavini Huiraatira party to contest the elections on May 23.

They have met a deadline of noon today in French Polynesia for candidate lists to be registered and have submitted 37 names.

A Tavini spokesperson, Tea Hirshon, says its insistence all coalition partners push for reinscription of French Polynesia on the United Nations list for decolonisation proved too difficult for the the Fetia Api autonomy party which did not join.

"The pro-autonomy party did not want to commit themselves to the re-inscription of Tahiti on the committee of decolonisation which was a requirement that we had asked them to accept and explaining to them that it would mean anything else than a legal process that was given to any nation that is colonised and their answer was we don't feel that we are colonised."

Mrs Hirshon says the French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, will call this a defeat for the coalition, but she believes getting all opposition parties around a table talking was a significant step forward for them.