27 May 2004

French Polynesia party claims President Flosse offering bribes to stay in power

10:28 am on 27 May 2004

French Polynesia's leading opposition party says the territory's President, Gaston Flosse, is bribing its members and others in order keep himself in power.

His Tahoeraa Huiraatira party is one seat short of a majority to retain power following the election earlier this week.

The main opposition party, the Tavini Huiraatira party headed by Oscar Temaru, has 27 seats against Mr Flosse's 28 seats.

Two other parties hold one seat each and are considered potential kingmakers.

The spokesperson for Tavini, Tea Hirshon, says Mr Flosse is clinging to power.

"He's bribing a lot of people, even on our side, with incredible money and ministerial posts and things to be able to switch back the power to him."