17 Nov 2004

Still no resolution of political crisis in Tahiti

11:15 am on 17 November 2004

One of French Polynesia's main parties has signalled it may not heed a call by the French government for a meeting in Paris next week to discuss the political crisis in Tahiti.

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira party of Gaston Flosse says there is no point in going to Paris if the rule of law is not restored in Papeete.

The rival administration led by Oscar Temaru has said it is ready to join the talks which were called after the French council of state annulled the May election of 37 of the 57 members of the territorial assembly.

But supporters of the Temaru coalition have blocked access to key institutions in Papeete amid a campaign to get President Jacques Chirac to dissolve the entire assembly.

Meanwhile, a French MP of Jacques Chirac's UMP party has said the hesitation by the French government to call fresh elections has degraded France's image, in particular in Australia and New Zealand.

Dominique Paille says the government's attitude is also hard to understand in France itself as the administration showed no reaction to the mass rally in Papeete in support of fresh elections.