1 Mar 2005

French Polynesian presidential election deferred by three days

10:07 am on 1 March 2005

Today's planned presidential election in French Polynesia has been called off because of a boycott by Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

Only 31 members of the assembly were present this morning when 35 were needed to have a quorum.

The interim speaker, Hiro Tefaarere, has deferred the sitting by three days when a simple majority will be able to elect a president.

There are two candidates - they are the Union for Democracy's Oscar Temaru and Gaston Tong Sang of the Tahoeraa.

Mr Tefaarere says the Tahoeraa members went to the Tuamotu islands for what he calls futile inaugurations.

Mr Temaru has described the rivals' absence as lamentable and childish.

Mr Flosse's government lost a no-confidence motion on February the 18th.