9 Dec 2004

French Polynesian assembly decides against endorsing dissolution petition

8:42 pm on 9 December 2004

The French Polynesian assembly has decided not to endorse a petition seeking to dissolve the assembly.

More than 42-thousand people signed the petition after the French president, Jacques Chirac, refused to heed a call by Oscar Temaru in October to allow for fresh elections in the face of the defection of a government MP.

The Temaru government fell in October, and last month, the French supreme court annulled the election of 37 of the assembly's 57 MPs over irregularities on polling day in May.

Of the 20 remaining MPs, 17 belong to President Gaston Flosse's party and they say they question how the signatures were collected.

Meanwhile, the French overseas territories minister, Brigitte Girardin, says a dissolution is impossible.

She says it is likely that such decision could be overturned by the Supreme Court.

In April, President Chirac dissolved the assembly when the request was made by President Gaston Flosse.