10 Jun 2004

French Polynesia president Flosse tries to hinder vote

10:27 am on 10 June 2004

The majority coalition poised to take over in French Polynesia says President Gaston Flosse may yet thwart the imminent election of a new president.

The French Polynesian Assembly is to vote tomorrow for a new territorial president, following an election upset on May 23.

A spokewoman for the Oscar Temaru-led coalition, Tea Hirshon, says the group, which is poised to take over the Government, expects the vote for president to go ahead, regardless of the outcome of a legal appeal by Mr Flosse.

Mr Flosse has appealed to the Papeete-based Administrative Tribunal over the setting of the election date by the Assembly.

The appeal follows the rejection by the French Council of State of an earlier Flosse appeal.

Mrs Hirshon says Mr Flosse, who's not registered to contest the presidency, may stay away tomorrow.

This may thwart the Assembly vote, by starving it of the numbers needed to validate the vote..

"He comes or he doesn't. If he doesn't come with his group then we will have to push the election three days after, according to the law, which would take us to Monday, and then whether they come or they don't, we go ahead."