14 Oct 2004

Thousands show up to support ousted French Polynesia president

11:12 am on 14 October 2004

A leading member of the ousted coalition government of French Polynesia says people are turning out in their thousands to support the fallen government.

There is political confusion as the Oscar Temaru-led coalition government seeks to cling to power following its defeat in a no-confidence vote in parliament at the weekend.

Nicole Bouteau, the leader of the No Oe e Te Nunaa party in the coalition, says it is still demanding fresh elections, despite France having ruled out this option.

Ms Bouteau says most Polynesians want to see Mr Temaru continue in office.

"Last night in the island of Tahiti two thousand people came to a meeting to say, 'We want to keep this government'. Tonight we will be in another town in Tahiti, and we know that thousands and thousands of people will come to say that they are behind the change, and they are behind the majority of Mr Temaru."

Ms Bouteau says she did not attend a session of the Territorial Assembly called today by the assembly's third vice president, Lana Tetuanui, describing it as an illegal session.