5 Jan 2005

Proposal to unite French Polynesia's centre parties is met with mixed reactions

4:17 pm on 5 January 2005

A proposal to unite centrist political parties in French Polynesia, ahead of elections to the territorial Assembly next month, has been met with mixed reaction.

The photographer Teva Sylvain, one of the founding members of the pro-autonomy party led by Phillip Schyle, says he wants to form a federation, because he's not a member of either President Gaston Flosse or Oscar Temaru's parties.

However, Mr Sylvain's proposal hasn't convinced the centre parties to join his proposed union.

Nicole Bouteau, leader of a pro-autonomy party, has rejected the offer, and Mr Schyle has yet to answer Mr Sylvain's offer.

Both Mr Bouteau and Mr Schyle helped Mr Temaru form a coalition government with a one-vote majority in the French Polynesia Assembly last June.

But Mr Flosse forced a vote of no confidence, toppling the Temaru government and returning as president last October.