27 May 2004

French Polynesia presidency denies bribery attempts in power bid

4:44 pm on 27 May 2004

The spokesman for the French Polynesian President, Yves Haupert, says claims that Gaston Flosse is trying to bribe members and others in order to keep himself in power are untrue.

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.

A Tavini spokesperson, Tea Hirshon, says Mr Flosse is paying people money and offering them ministerial posts to stay in power.

But Mr Haupert says that is not how the President operates.

"This is completely false, say lie. President Flosse doesn't use such a method - it's a campaign from the opposition to try to put into the mind of people that President Flosse uses such methods, but this is completely false."

Yves Haupert, the spokesman for the French Polynesian President.