18 Feb 2005

Gaston Flosse may resign as French Polynesia's President within hours

1:19 pm on 18 February 2005

There are expectations in French Polynesia that the President, Gaston Flosse, could concede defeat and resign by tonight.

The central committee of Mr Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party is meeting this afternoon.

Yesterday a senior minister in his Government resigned in protest at Mr Flosse' failure to keep a pre-election promise to step down should his party fail to win the Tahiti by-election.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Jean Christophe Bouissou stepped down, after Mr Flosse told him that keeping his word was his business. Mr Bouissou says for the sake of the party Mr Flosse has to go, or else there is a perception that he wants to cling to power at any cost. Mr Bouissou says the matter will again be raised at a party meeting this afternoon. Mr Bouissou said yesterday, - "I hope he will resign. if he does not we will have big problems" - If Mr Flosse refuses, a special assembly meeting is scheduled for tomorrow to discuss a motion of no confidence."