11 Oct 2004

French Polynesian government ousted in no confidence vote

6:51 am on 11 October 2004

The French Polynesian coalition government led by Oscar Temaru has been ousted in a no-confidence move.

Two motions by the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party were backed by 29 of the territorial assembly's 57 members in an extraordinary session last night, which toppled the 15-week old government.

Fresh presidential elections are expected to be held within two weeks.

Walter Zweifel has more:


"The demise of the Temaru administration has come after one of its MPs, Noa Tetuanui, decided to back the opposition which had claimed that the government was unable to run the territory. But in the two-day debate, the opposition MPs declined to take the floor, leaving it instead to the ministers who one by one defended their record and implored the assembly to respect the will of the people expressed in the May elections. The motions came just days after the government began audits of the former Gaston Flosse-led administration which has been accused of corruption. In the face of the opposition challenge, Mr Temaru called for a fresh mandate from the voters but France said there would be no elections now as the highest court in Paris is yet to rule on the opposition appeal to annul the result of the May polls. The weekend session was at times rowdy. A knife-wielding man under the influence of alcohol was overpowered, with the opposition describing the incident as an attempt to kill Mr Flosse, the man now widely tipped to be returned to the presidency."