2 Feb 2005

French Polynesia's ADN distances itself from main blocs

4:22 pm on 2 February 2005

A pro-autonomy coalition in French Polynesia says it will put forward a candidate for the presidency after this month's by-election for 37 assembly seats in Tahiti and Moorea.

The statement was made by the Alliance for a New Democracy which combines the Fetia Api and the No Oe e Te Nunaa parties which were part of the Oscar Temaru-led government ousted last October.

The Alliance says it is time to get out of the confrontation between the two main rival blocs and it will therefore neither join the Tahoeraa Huiraatira led by Gaston Flosse nor Mr Temaru's group.

The No Oe e Te Nunaa leader, Nicole Bouteau, says irrespective of the election outcome, a roundtable should be called with France to renew French Polynesia's partnership with Paris.

After the May election, Paris backed Mr Flosse's camp in the face of his election loss in Tahiti, but Fetia Api declined a suggestion to join his camp and chose to side with Mr Temaru's coalition.

In November, the French supreme court annulled the Tahiti result and on February the 13th fresh elections are to be held.

The Fetia Api leader, Philip Schyle, says if Mr Flosse's party wins, there is the risk of a social explosion.