11 Jun 2004

Flosse party members boycott presidential vote in French Polynesia

8:31 am on 11 June 2004

Backers of French Polynesia's president have boycotted a vote in parliament to replace him.

Members were expected to vote for a president this morning, with Gaston Flosse's rival Oscar Temaru, set to take power, as the only person running for the job.

The Tahitipresse news agency reports that 27 of the 28 members of Mr Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira party have stayed away from this morning's sitting of the territorial assembly.

It says the vote for the presidency has been put back for four days.

President Flosse has held his position for two decades, but last month lost a majority in the territorial assembly following elections.

Mr Flosse has since laid siege to political institutions to try to keep himself in power, and hundreds of extra French police have arrived in the territory.