3 Feb 2005

French court sets scene for possible Flosse ouster

4:27 pm on 3 February 2005

A French supreme court ruling has changed part of the French Polynesian autonomy statute by declaring that the presidency is not an institution separate from the government.

The statute approved by France provided for four separate administrative entities, including the assembly, which prompted a Tahiti resident, Yves Conroy, to claim that the ousting of the government in last October's no-confidence vote did not remove President Oscar Temaru.

Mr Conroy also claimed that therefore the election of Gaston Flosse as president was illegal.

But the court has ruled that with the fall of the Temaru government, the president had also been ousted.

Mr Conroy says the ruling means Mr Flosse will have to quit the presidency, should he lose the by-election on February the 13th and his administration then be toppled in a no-confidence motion.

"If he will stay on as he keeps saying, we'll lodge a motion of no confidence. And now with this document we are authorised to remove him."

Yves Conroy says he won't stand for the presidency.

He was a candidate endorsed by 15 MPs last year but says he only stood in the aborted election on October the 25th because he wanted to disclose evidence about alleged abuse of power of the Flosse government.