11 Feb 2005

Tahiti party calls on France to provide security at polling stations

4:20 pm on 11 February 2005

A leader of the Alliance for a New Democracy has called on the French state to provide security at polling booths at this weekend's election in French Polynesia.

Nicole Bouteau says the situation is tense and the two main rival blocs have hardened positions.

Ms Bouteau whose coalition is pushing to emerge as a third force in the polls says the situation is now such that neither Gaston Flosse's nor Oscar Temaru's camp would accept the other side's victory.

As campaigning is in its final phase, several political leaders have repeated their appeals for calm.

There have been minor scuffles between rival supporters.

The election is for 37 of the assembly's 57 seats after the French supreme court annulled last year's result because of serious irregularities.

France has rejected offers by the Pacific Islands Forum to send election monitors.