26 May 2004

French Polynesian opposition says Flosse's days over

4:10 pm on 26 May 2004

An opposition party in French Polynesia says Gaston Flosse's days as president are numbered and it expects Opposition leader Oscar Temaru to take over.

French Polynesia is reeling from an election upset two days ago in which, against all predictions, Mr Flosse's ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira party lost its majority.

All eyes are now on two likely kingmakers to see whether they will form a government with Mr Temaru.

Tina Cross, general secretary of the opposition Te Hono Party, says Gaston Flosse has been in charge too long.

"Now it's time for him to stop politics and his system of buying the votes because the Maohi [Tahitian] people are really poor in their country and the Government of Gaston Flosse prefers the Maohi people to stay poor, because at the elections he can buy them, he can pay them to vote for him."

Tina Cross.