19 Oct 2004

Court asked to rule on legality of French Polynesian no confidence motion

2:15 pm on 19 October 2004

A French citizen in Tahiti has gone to court in Papeete, asking it to declare that the no confidence motion which ousted the French Polynesian government was not valid.

Rene Hoffer says the official record of the debate states that the motion was signed by six members of the Te Ara faction of the territorial assembly instead of the legally required 12 members.

"I read what is written in the Journal Officiel issue number 398. It says motion de censure, the motion of Te Ara, has been voted. I do not do politics, I read the Journal Officiel. I look, I see they only have six signatures."

The president of the assembly had closed the sitting before a vote on a second no confidence motion signed by 23 members of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, led by Gaston Flosse.

Last week, the third vice president of the assembly, Lana Tetuanui of the Tahoeraa, called a sitting for tomorrow to elect a new president.

She had been authorised to act by the French high commissioner who said the assembly president had failed in his duties to set the election agenda.