8 Oct 2004

French Polynesia leader asks for dissolution of parliament

11:16 am on 8 October 2004

French Polynesia's president, Oscar Temaru, has written to the French President, Jacques Chirac, asking him to dissolve parliament so fresh elections can be held.

This is ahead of two opposition no confidence motions against the government that are to be put to the vote in the territorial assembly within two days.

Mr Temaru's spokesman, Claude Marere, says Mr Temaru, who yesterday foreshadowed his intention to do this, has now written to Mr Chirac formally asking for dissolution of the assembly.

"He made a letter to Mr Chirac to ask for dissolution of the assembly."

[So that letter has been sent, that has been done?]

Yes, this has been done and tomorrow there is the vote, tomorrow and Saturday there will be the vote for the motion.

The no-confidence motions have been signed by 29 of the 57 Assembly members, which would give the opposition the numbers it needs to oust Mr Temaru.

The Temaru-led coalition of less than four months commands 28 votes, and must win support from any of three key independent MPs if it is to survive.

Mr Temaru's spokesman says they hope Noa Tetuanui will return to the coalition after he declared himself an independent.