18 Oct 2004

French Socialists label Tahiti plans a judicial coup

4:24 pm on 18 October 2004

The French opposition Socialist Party has described this week's planned assembly meeting in Tahiti by some French Polynesian MPs as a judicial coup.

A Socialist MP Rene Dosiere, who joined the weekend mass demonstration in support of fresh general elections, says the planned meeting will be of no legal value despite efforts by the French government to portray things to the contrary.

The assembly's third vice-president, Lana Tetuanui, called the meeting in two days to elect a new territorial president after the head of the assembly had closed the sitting.

She says she was given the authority to act by the French high commissioner after the veteran leader, Gaston Flosse, and his backers won a no confidence motion.

In Paris, opposition parties have called for a meeting with President Jacques Chirac to discuss what they describe as the serious situation in Tahiti.

The Greens have called for the high commissioner's removal for failing to be impartial in the stand-off.