23 Oct 2004

Hundreds gather at French Polynesia presidential vote

8:14 am on 23 October 2004

Hundreds of supporters of French Polynesia's former leader, Gaston Flosse have gathered at the Territorial Assembly.

The supporters hope to see Mr Flosse elected as President, two weeks after he ousted the 15-week-old government of Oscar Temaru.

Walter Zweifel reports from Papeete.

"Today's session will only need a simple majority of MPs in the house to elect a new president. Three days ago the election failed for want of a quorum, because the anti-Flosse party stayed away. And they plan to hold another election in three days, as they disagree with the timetable chosen by the new majority."

But no matter who wins today, the result may be overturned as the highest court in France is yet to rule on appeals that could annul not only today's election but also the general election won by Mr Temaru's coalition in May. Last weekend's mass rally called for a fresh general election.

But that decision can only be taken by Jacques Chirac, who has, so far, said no.