15 Oct 2004

Ousted French Polynesian politicians call for public support

4:59 pm on 15 October 2004

Politicians of the ousted coalition government in French Polynesia have appealed to the public to join a planned mass demonstration in Papeete this weekend to back calls for fresh general elections.

The ousted president, Oscar Temaru, says French Polynesia needs honest leaders, asking all sectors of society to back his bid to have the people choose a new assembly and new government.

Mr Temaru lost power at the weekend when one of his MPs voted with the opposition led by Gaston Flosse in a vote of no confidence.

His call for the mass rally comes amid a deadlock in the assembly over when to hold a meeting to choose a new president and after France repeatedly refused to dissolve the assembly.

Mr Temaru says they cannot allow to make corruption part of democracy.

He says Mr Flosse and the French President Jacques Chirac won't have the last word - that, he says, will have to be given to the people.

He says his demise is the result of corruption.

"It's bribery, it's corruption, the democratisation of corruption in our country, Tahiti. So I appeal to the people of the Pacific to support our struggle here and we will keep fighting against the colonial system that is ruling our country."

Mr Temaru says at the weekend march they will be backed by thousands of people and they will enjoy the support of millions of Frenchmen and Europeans.

The municipal council of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas islands says it will organise a peaceful march to back fresh elections.