14 Oct 2004

Socialists say Republic must keep peace in French Polynesia

8:10 am on 14 October 2004

Opponents of the French President, Jacques Chirac, have urged him to do everything he can to keep the peace in French Polynesia.

The first secretary of the French socialist party, Francois Hollande, says there are many suspicions about the party of the territory's former leader, Gaston Flosse, which is seeking to retake power after bringing down the government in a vote of censure.

The government fell at the weekend in disputed circumstances and talks between the rival sides have failed to secure an agreement on the next step.

Mr Hollande says he doesn't believe France has brought stability to the situation.

He says squads of police haven't been sent from France to soothe people's worries and dispel any doubts, but he adds that the republic must try to keep the peace.

Mr Hollande says dissolving the territorial assembly would end the current political confusion and put the issue to the voters.

The third vice-president of French Polynesia's territorial assembly has called a meeting for this morning to set a date for fresh presidential elections.